Little Miss African American

Co-Host Claudia Jordan & Actor James Pickens Jr. (Top R) Actress/Pageant Founder Lisa Ruffin. (Bottom) The Queen and Court Princess Mapp, 1st Nasern El Shabaz, 2nd Trinity Parish, 3rd Maylah Taylor and 4th runner up Octavia Carey

*Actress Lisa Ruffin’s 23rd Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant held recently at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre was a crowing with all its glory. Princess Mapp was crowned the 2016 Queen and her court included; first place Nasern El Shabaz, second Trinity Parish, third Maylah Taylor and fourth place winner Octavia Carey.

lisa3Reality Stars Sherre Fletcher (Hollywood Exes) and Claudia Jordan (The Real Housewives of Atlanta) was the pageant’s host and Actor James Pickens Jr. (ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy)made a special guest appearance.

This year’s Celebrity Judges included Actress Ella Joyce (Roc), Olympic Gold Medalist Althea Moses, Miss USA 2002 Shauntay Hilton, Actor/Comedian/Late Night Talk Show Host Rocco (Hollywood Late Night with Rocco), Author/Professor Ron Brewington, along with Renee Lawless, Ro Brooks, Medina Islam (The Haves and the Have Nots) and other VIPs invited guests were in attendance to support and inspire these lovely young girls.

Little Miss African American

The Little Miss African Pageant (LMAA) is first and foremost an educational program cleverly disguised in a pageant format whose mission is dedicated to the intellectual success of your African American girls.

“Within each girl, is the promise of unlimited possibilities, and the pageant is a vehicle for bringing that potential to the forefront.” Says Lisa Ruffin.

For the past 23 years, dozens of girls between the ages of 6-12 years old have participated in this program, hundreds of scholarships have been awarded, and lasting memories have been created for these young Academic and intellectual princess.  While some of them come from strong supportive families, the majority of them come from under-served, single family homes.  The pageant provides an early introduction to the arts and training in public speaking, while promoting individual creativity and stimulating a heightened cultural understanding. For more information visit our website:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LMAApageant.

About Lisa Ruffin

Lisa Ruffin is a multi-talented performer and choreographer. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she entered Carnegie Mellon University at age sixteen then went on to New York to complete her education at The Julliard School of Music. The first video she choreographed, “JoAnna” won an American Music Award. Her choreography credits include, UPN’s “Moesha”, and “The Steve Harvey Show”. Lisa is the youngest African American woman to choreograph a Broadway Stage production, “Up Close and Personal” at the Lunt Fontaine Theatre. Among many other achievements, she has also performed on Broadway, and had 2 Billboard Top 20 R&B hit record.

Her acting credits include, “Him and Us”, “Seth”, “The Raven”, and her very memorable role as “Deena” on the long running soap “All My Children”. Lisa has made appearances on The David Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live, and has graced the covers and interiors of respected magazines such as Essence, Ebony and Black Enterprise. She had numerous commercials, including her “Secret” commercial, directed by award winning director, Jessicia Yu. Lisa has been a national judge& Choreographer for the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition.

Lisa created an non-profit, educational program called Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant, for young girl’s 6-12 years. They are celebrating their 23rd year of teaching how to create beauty and be Presidents of everything.




Edna Sims
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