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Queen of the VirginsPageantry and Black Womanhood in the Caribbean$
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M. Cynthia Oliver

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732429

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732429.001.0001

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date: 23 January 2019

The Main Event

The Main Event

Miss U.S. Virgin Islands 1999, “The Essence of the Caribbean”

(p.67) Chapter 4 The Main Event
Queen of the Virgins

M. Cynthia Oliver

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter reflects upon a portion of events of the Miss U.S. Virgin Islands 1999, and explores the ways in which the pageant shows its borrowing of African American performance, as well as Afro-Caribbean forms. It points out that both performances were absorbed and appreciated by the local audience present in the pageant. It describes how the language of the pageant contestants and the masters of ceremony showed individuals’ negotiations regarding their identity as citizens of the Virgin Islands and as young women living in a complex social environment. The pageant also depicted the Virgin Islands as a territory searching for meaning as a nation within the Caribbean and within the international community, while working itself out on the bodies and in the performances of the young black female contestants of the pageant.

Keywords:   pageant, women, Virgin Islands, Caribbean, African American performance, international community

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