79.6 F
Cruz Bay
Monday, July 22, 2024


July 4, 2002 – Wearing a white trench coat-style tuxedo that set off the red of his royal cape, Sambala Boyd, 17, captured St. John's Mr. Emancipator crown in Wednesday night's contest at the Winston Wells Ballfield.
He beat out Sergio Adams, 17, and Akiba Pickering, 20.
Boyd is a 2002 graduate of Sts. Peter and Paul High School, where he was senior class president. Adams attends Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, and Pickering graduated in 2001 from Kean.
Boyd also took home the trophy for best historical presentation. His skit depicting the events surrounding the 1733 slave rebellion at Fortsberg told of one of the island's most significant pieces of history.
"This is the story of people seeking freedom," Boyd said.
A group of slaves hiding knives in their bundles of wood took over the fort, located near Coral Bay, murdered white planters and held off invaders for six months.
With a backdrop depicting the fort's stone walls and the stage lights darkened, Boyd rounded out his presentation with a bit of drumming. It ended with a few verses from Bob Marley's "Redemption."
"Help to sing these songs of freedom," he sang.
Pickering also used the 1733 slave rebellion for his historical presentation. With a feminine voice reading his original poem, he told of how he was a shaman in his native Africa, but was now reduced to work as a common house slave.
"Listen carefully to the crack of the whip," he said.
Adams, using the Mary's Point story of how slaves jumped to their death to start his skit, told the story of a people enslaved. Wearing chains and bare chested, he went on to talk of Moses Gottlieb, a principal figure in the July 3, 1848, revolt in Frederiksted that led to emancipation.
"Our fight for freedom has given us the holiday of Emancipation Day," he said.
Since history was the basis for the event, it also featured a presentation on the 1848 emancipation by St. Thomas resident Wayne "Factsman" Adams. Dressed in beige desert camouflage, Adams said that little is known about Gottlieb, also called Buddhoe, after he was deported to Trinidad.
"He was widely respected among fellow slaves," he said.
While the historical and evening wear presentations both drew applause from the hundred or so people gathered for the event, it was the pajama segment that knocked the socks off the mostly female audience.
Adams strolled the stage in a blue silk pajama set with a long top that he wore open. When it took it off and flexed his well-muscled torso, the women went crazy.
Boyd and Pickering drew similar responses. Boyd wore a jet black ensemble flecked with silver and sporting long pants, while Pickering took to the stage in a sheer blue number with short pants that showed off his legs.
The contestants showed imagination in the African attire segment. Adams and Pickering both wore African robes, with Adams in blue and Pickering in royal purple. The barefooted Boyd went a different route in a costume that reflected the African bush. Coming out in a gold and white wrap that covered him from waist to knees, he sported a headdress and shield decorated with guinea grass.
Adams captured the trophies for Mr. Photogenic and Mr. Congeniality. Boyd also went home with honors for selling the most votes in the Mr. Popularity contest. He raised $150 for the Love City Pan Dragons, which sponsored the event.
Other entertainment during the evening came from St. John resident Suzette Kelly, who did her rendition of "Redemption" and also serenaded the contestants as the judges tallied the votes.
Pan Dragons member Gregory Edwards kept the crowd entertained with his solo on tenor pan.

Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.