Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016






Walking by Faith


August , September , October , November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July

July

I ran across this and its so befitting for the state of events that will transpire this week.

An elephant and a dog became pregnant at same time. Three months down the line the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies.

The pattern continued.

On the eighteenth month the dog approached the elephant questioning, "Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date, I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. Whats going on?" The elephant replied, "There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration, what I carry draws attention. So what I'm carrying is mighty and great".

Don't lose faith when you see others receive answers to their prayers. Don't be envious of others testimony. If you haven't received your own blessings, don't despair. Say to yourself "My time is coming, and when it hits the surface of the earth, people shall yield in admiration."

Isn't this awesome and encouraging, just to know that no matter what path, success plans to come either rapidly or as a long term goal you finally reach. Success happens in its own time, and you can't rush it. So when it does make it just like the birth of an elephant, ground shaking.

As I close out my year as Miss Gay Louisiana America, I pray that I have left an indelible mark on now what is to part of my legacy as an entertainer.

I AM, AND WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL TO ALL THOES WHO HAVE AIDED IN THIS JOURNEY.

I am now, and forever will be your Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016
Xoxo Imani Nye Black

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June

Hello America, this month is not anything that I've written, but something that I read that has changed me for the better.

Are you Coachable?

No matter who you work with - black or white, men or women, gay or straight - to reach your full potential, you must remain open to good advice. I don't care how skilled you are, what sort of accolades you've received, or how big your check is. Your continued evolution depends on being able to accept criticism and advice from people who are more experienced than you.

When you make the mistake of thinking you know it all, you're going to shut yourself off from so much wisdom. I see talented people fall into this trap all the time. They experience a little success and then think their talent is enough to carry them the rest of the way to the top. If they met someone who doesn't seem as gifted, or skilled, as they are, they'll dismiss that person's advice out of hand. But here's a little secret: there are a lot of people out there whose main talent IS their ability to COACH!

Phil Jackson wasn't a star as an NBA player, but he's probably the greatest coach in the history of the game. Providing instruction, vision, and guidance is his gift. Imagine if Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had ignored Phil just because he wasn't an All Star when he played in the league."

Wise Up!

Excerpt from the last few pages of Charlamagne Tha God.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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May

I Remember being in second grade and feeling confident and carefree. I was the most amazing youth in the classroom and on the playground. I hadn't a worry about life 10 years away. I wasn't concerned about being a senior in any time other than my own .

We give/gave ourselves permission to be wherever we were in our developmental process. Now that we’re grown up, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to know everything right now.

After seeing so many people walk this path of transformation, I’ve realized there are many phases, and they don’t look the same in any two people’s lives. Think of life as your school. You’re constantly learning lessons and growing. While we need to give ourselves permission not to know everything. it’s important to know where we are in the process. No matter our current phase.

  1. Don’t expect yourself to be anywhere other than where you are. Accept your current place on the path. If you’re going to get anywhere in life, you have to?—?at minimum?—?believe in yourself. There’s a reason this is #1?—?you have to be honest with yourself. You have to trust in your abilities, believe things will work out and believe the right people will come into your life to help you.
  2. Anticipate the very next phase beyond the one you’re in, so you can be prepared for it when it arrives. Become inquisitive and curious about life. Its curiosity that sustains us because it leads toward desire, inquisitiveness and inspires enthusiasm and passion. We are drawn to that which innately interests us. For me, those things are writing, helping people develop through coaching and the DRAG. What are you curious about?
  3. Be compassionate and understanding to others, regardless of their progress on their own personal journey. Never break others SPIRIT. The human spirit is built to last. What I mean is, we’re creatures of survival! We’re meant to keep going and thirsting for more knowledge. The human spirit drives us to explore a better life and to ensure life endures for the future of this art form.
As I close put your heart in all that you do. Having heart, is about love, kindness and doing good for others without expecting the same in return. Its this mindset, of devotion to living, loving and acting with joy in your heart. Its all about contributing to a positive mindset. Then an only then Personal growth and success can and will be achieved.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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April

In life, we must know who is for us and who isn't. Think of life as a field of dreams; be careful of the snakes and birds that you come in contact with on a daily basis!

First you have the garden snake. That's a person that doesn't like you, and they just don't deal with you.

Second, the rattlesnake. That's a person that viciously lies, cheats and steals from you, then turns around and smiles in your face like they've done you a favor.

Third, the viper. That's that person that claims they love you, while laying and waiting for your downfall so they can talk about you behind your back.

Fourth, the anaconda. That's a person who'll take from you and squeeze the life right out of you, leaving you gasping for air.

Last, but not least, the cobra! That's someone that's real close to you. They constantly watch you, grin in your face, all the while hating you. When they strike, it hurts the worst, because you never see them coming.

Keep your yard raked and cleaned. Trust me, you'll see them before they see you.

I copied and pasted.. now it's your time if you know these are deadly, hurtful and vicious...

You also need to beware of birds!!!

The Yard Bird stays around the neighborhood just being nosey.

The Cuckoo Bird is just plain crazy.

The Hawk is always watching waiting for you to slip up.

Lastly, the Pigeon is always in the way!!!!

If we keep these folk out of your life theres not a single goal you can't achieve.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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March

Well, its that time; our 1st Preliminary of the Season. If you truly want to pursue this as goal, and see it come true, there are 3 things you have to consciously start doing.
  1. Write down your goal.

    This is an extremely powerful method of getting in the right state when building your package. The Gay America System gives you a handbook which gives you a complete outline of what you will be scored on. If you follow it, and stay true to who you are. success will be within reach.

    Goals that are not written down are merely wishes.


  2. Create a powerful belief system.

    Ask any successful person what their number one rule for succeeding is. They all have this in common: They believe in themselves and what they’re doing, and they surround themselves with people who believe in them and are not afraid to say it. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?

    Now a YESSSS@ corner is just as bad as Dream Killers. When one believes in you, they will help build your dream package and tell you what's right and what's just not gonna work and help find a way to tweak it so it will.


  3. Invest in yourself.

    A wise man was once asked what would be the best possible investment someone could make. His answer was short, sweet and simple: “Invest In Yourself.”

    Hire a professional dresser, get your garmets professionally altered, rehearse your talent. Do everything that you can to ensure the best payoff possible. Don't leave anything you to someone to get done with verifying that it was done and donw correctly.


Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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February

Well, all eyes are on the Crescent City. YESSSSSS it's Mardi Gras time, and the doll is on VACATION.

Enjoy and be safe.

Next month starts Pageant Season.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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January

HEY America, guess what? It's Pageant Time! We are gearing up to kick off the Miss Gay Lousiana America Preliminary Season, starting with Miss River Cities on March 11 at Club Pink.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to share with you all and I came up with "The Keys to the Crown." We often think that we know the rules and have a good grasp of what the category descriptions are, but sometimes we miss the little details that will give us that edge when competing.

So, lets jump right in with CHOOSING A PRELIM. Here in our state we have several to choose from and all of them are great--some are even in our back yard so to speak. If your local bar has a prelim, do it since it could give you home court advantage. You don't have to travel far to prove your point. Your friends and family can come cheer you on and--most importantly-- you know the layout of the stage.

RAZZLE DAZZLE us. We want to be entertained. Think of something that you do well and make that your talent. Don't try to force yourself to do what you think will score. Do what you do best to get the best score. Then turn that into a story with a beginning, middle and an end. Take us on that journey with you for five minutes and leave us wanting to see you again. Also be mindful that your extras and props are judged just as hard as you are. They are part of your presentation. They must be just as polished as you are. (Their shoes, hair, makeup, even down to nails all count. Prop should be sturdy and add to the performance and serve a purpose.

DRESS THE PART. That old saying is true--It's the fit that makes the fashion. Your male suit can be a $1,000.00 or $10.00, but it has to be clean and fit well. Shirt and tie should compliment you skin and the color of the suit. Scuff free shoes and belt are a must. Yes, you can show your personality with a fun sock or pocket square, but it shouldn't be a focal point. Hair and nails are just as important as the suit. They should be clean and well groomed. Last we all love a good smelling man.

Now this brings me to my next point: WASH PADS, TIGHTS AND UNDERGARMENTS. There is nothing worst than being in a dressing room with an odor of sweaty queen. Fabric refresher works if you can't wash the garments. SWEET PERFUME ONLY MAKES IT WORSE. Tights and stockings need to be free of runs, holes, and snags. Gown should be floor length meaning to the ground in your shoes. Make sure to try things on several times with all that you plan to wear that night (pads, same number of tights and shoes.) This way you can fix anything before you get there. The dress can be any style you desire, but it has to fit YOU (body and personality). STONES and BEADS don't make a gown.

I hope these tips help you all as you prepare for a year of Excellence.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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December

Happy Holidays America!

Yes, it's Christmas time and we all know what that means. Good food, friends and family. A time for us to reflect on how good God had been to us and a time to be thankful for seeing us through these last 365 day.

It's also the time when we stress the most. We have year-end reviews, bills from all of the gift-giving, memories of ones we loved and lost or families we can't see due to the life we have chosen . We find ourselves in a dark place, and that's where depression sets in.

As Miss Gay Louisiana America, I took it upon myself to learn what the signs of depression are, and how to aid in the recovery of it.

We as people tend to dismiss others and their feelings because we truly don't know and/or understand what they are going through. Just know that someone is here for you. An ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on or a big hug. America, you are not alone even when you are all by yourself. Do as Sally Sparkles, Miss Gay America 2013, told us "Always wear your invisible CROWN". That little angle on the inside of our beloved symbol will help comfort and guide you on your way.

The number for National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255, available 24 hours everyday. If you need me I'm here ON FACEBOOK or shoot me an email or call me.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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November

Ok, I'm rested and now I'm ready to work.

MGA was amazing! Thanks to Mercedes L'Oreal; you went above and beyond. You kept me calm, and we did our thing. O'mariyan Sincere Black, hubby, thanks you truly are a gentleman's gentleman. You handled props like a pro and you made me feel like a "Lady"; you never once left my side. Thing 1 and 2- Larry Robertson and Jour'danae Dickerson Foxx, what can I say, but thanks. All I had to do was say it, and 9 out of 10 times, y'all handled it before I could finish.

Boss man, David Green, you were on it with making sure I didn't miss a beat; morning wakeup calls, check-in reminders, staging - anything I needed you tried to make sure I had it. Thanks a million!
BR> To the home team, my Granny Opal Vanderhurst, your love and support should be bottled and sold, loyalty is a rare trait to find these days. Armani Cassadine, we fuss and fight all day, but when it's go time, we down like pit and pat (inside joke, Mollie). To the Grand Ruler Yaisha Alexander - sis, who would have know that you would be such an influence and inspiration to me and my career. I did it, it is completed; your mission you started a few years ago and started my journey to get where I want in my impersonation career.

John Tilly and the Bourbon Pub - thanks for keeping a girl working. Tiffany and Starr Alexander, thanks for the gigs at Mainstreet. Santana, Anastacia and Dominique - the calls, the texts with your votes of confidence made things easier to cope when it was getting hard.

Mother, thanks for being understanding to the missed family dinners, the packages being delivered, glitter all over the back lawn and most importantly, your acceptance of me and the life I have chosen. You are my Favorite GIRL. I love you with all my heart.

Last, but not least, Maybelline Mascara, your daily, weekly inboxes, out talks gave me and insight into what a true sisterhood should be, and what I want to do for the next Miss Louisiana.

Thank you all, and if I forgot anyone, please know I love you and appreciate your love and support.

Asia, you had a wonderful year and a beautiful step-down, I'm glad I was a part of history.

Suzy Wong, congratulations, you came with a mission in mind, and baby you got what you wanted. Let me tell you, that Dior gown - if I could have fit it, girl, that's all i'm going to say. (Hahahahaha) I can't wait to show you my city and state.(No Food Network cooking either) We gonna EAT. LOL

Wow this is getting lengthy, so let me wrap it up. If you have ever long to be a "Queen", America is the place for you. STAY TUNED FOR PRELIMINARY INFO, It's time to EAT. Happy Thanksgiving!

CROCK POT POT ROAST
  • 2-3 lb beef roast or pork roast
  • 5-6 potatoes peeled and sliced into wedges
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 2 medium onions, sliced in half
  • 2 pkgs brown gravy mix2 c water
INSTRUCTIONS

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. Place your roast in your 6- quart crock pot (I used my Hamilton Beach Programmable Insulated Slow Cooker.) Surround your roast with your potato wedges, onion halves and carrots. Mix together one of your brown gravy mixes with 1 c cold water. Pour over your roast and veggiesCover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (total). An hour before serving, mix together your remaining brown gravy mix and 1 c cold water. Pour over roast and veggies. Cover again for the last hour of cooking.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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October

Well it's October, and the big day is around the corner.

So I'm on the final leg of preparation, making my check list and double checking them. Room, car, dresser, helper; all set and ready to go.

Often we ask for advice, and we never truly take it in. My formers have really rallied around me and told me to stay focused, relax and be myself.

So what's it's going be? The cards are dealt, too late to re-think and change now, so just stay tuned and see what we bring to the stage. Team Green will definitely be on the move.

I must send a special thanks to my A-Team, if not for you all, my dream would not come true. You understand the hard work and dedication I've put into this craft and your support has not gone unnoticed.

In typical fashion, here's one of the meals that kept me going, as it's a one pot meal .

Dave Kitchen Sink Jambalaya
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or wings
  • 1 pound of shrimp
  • 1/2 pounds ham seasonings
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Tony's
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions3 tablespoons
INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown on each side. Once brown remove and set aside. Add sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and thyme and Tonys. Saute until translucent and sausage is browned. Stir in rice, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, and reserved chicken, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook on low, covered, for 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cover cook for another 5-8 minutes or until shrimp are cooked. Turn off heat and let rice stand, covered, 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Fluff rice with fork and stir in green onions.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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September

As I look back over my life and I see all thing God has brought me through, I can truly say that I'm still here by the GRACE of God. Hey, America, I hope all is well.

This month I said I wanted you guys to get a chance to know the Man behind the makeup.

Dave was born under the astrological sign of Sagittarius, which makes me an optimistic risk taker. Which to a certain extent is correct, hence becoming the female impersonating son of a preacher.

I always knew that I was artistic, and knew that it would one day be a part of my career path, but never to this extent. Always a little builder and a huge fan of arts and crafts as a kid, I used that passion and drive to always open many doors for me in my elementary and high school years. I became a performer in school and church plays, vocal music and band, oratorical competitions; creative writing and visual arts is where I excelled.

Now let's fast forward a few years to my college life at the University of New Orleans when I began to be exposed to what I now call the self discovery period. I found out that it's ok to be who I am, and like and enjoy things that seem to be odd. I met and made friends with others that were like me; and the preachers kid then became a club goer.

One nite while at a local club I saw my first drag show starring Simone Rishard. I was fascinated by the makeup/hair costumes and entertainment value I was like "Who, What, When and How is this possible." My bestie at the time, the late "Mother Jackson", decided I was going do the turnabout, and thus gave birth to Imani. Seven years later, 6 pageant in and countless hours and dollars spent, I'm now MGLA royalty.

I now sit amongst the legends I admired growing up Tiffany Alexander, Asya and Jayda Alexander, Raquel Chevallier, Anastacia Davenport... just to name a few. This elite group of ladies has always set the bar higher and higher with each year.

My goal for this regin is to one day inspire someone to want to follow in my footsteps and believe in the legacy that I will leave once I cross the burning sands into the land of Forever.

Big Daddy's Mac & Chesse

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (If you like velveeta, just add it too I do )
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook macaroni and drain. Add butter and cheeses to macaroni and mix well. Beat egg, milk, sour cream, pepper and salt together with a wire whisk. Add to macaroni and cheese. Spray dish with cooking spray and add macaroni. Cook covered with foil in for 50 to 60 minutes at 350

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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August

Every once in a while, when I need little reminder of what I’m capable of achieving, I like to find a good quote to bring my spirits up. Mine is "I think I can, I think I can."

I remember getting ready for MGLA, I was nervous and scared, not sure if it was something that I should do. I felt like I didn’t know enough to venture down that path. One of my sister in the artform asked me a question: Are you afraid of success? I was confused and asked him to clarify. He told me, “Anything that you are doing wholeheartedly will be successful, so don’t be afraid.” That helped form my decision, and here I am almost 2 months later, living fearlessly in that truth, I'm Miss Gay Louisiana America and preparing for Nationals.

Of course it’s been difficult and times have been hard. But I have learned to trust the process and the one leading me through it. Don’t let doubt and uncertainty steer you away from your DREAMS.

Now that we're talkin about dreams here's one of my favorite Dreamy treats.

Mrs. Lill's Banana Cake (It's my Granny's recipe)

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 (12 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 5 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla, sour cream and applesauce. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in banana mixture. Divide batter (about 2 1/2 cup batter in each pan) into prepared pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it from the oven.)

For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes. Then apply a thick even layer around the outside of the cake. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon around the outside and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Imani Nye Black
Miss Gay Louisiana America 2016

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