Hibbert to provide entertainment at Beautify Bennettsville
Nicole Lynette Hibbert has never been afraid to take risks.
As a singer, songwriter, TEDx speaker and fashion designer, Hibbert has always met a challenge head on.
Originally from New York but now living in Clio, she took a leap when she entered the Miss Black America pageant in 2016.
At the time, she was living in Delaware. It was the first pageant she had ever entered and she won.
Hibbert will provide some of the live entertainment at the upcoming Beautify Bennettsville on May 19.
Clean up teams will pick up litter on city streets from 8 a.m. to noon.
At noon at the Bennettsville Police Department, Hibbert and the School of Discovery Jazz Band will provide entertainment during lunch.
Community is something she values.
"I think I value it more because I don't feel like I am hugely a part of any community because we moved around so much when I was younger," she said.
She helped to organize and participate in the Christmas Gala in Clio and participated in the Black History Celebration at Marlboro School Community Center.
Hibbert became interested in Miss Black America pageant when she read about its history. Miss Black America started in 1968 by J. Morris Anderson.
"Black women could not compete in the Miss America Pageant," she said.
The first Miss Black America pageant was the same night as the Miss America pageant which was held nearby.
Hibbert felt like she had the audacity necessary to participate inside her.
"When I competed, I had the shaved head and everything," she said. "It was a little different to see me on that stage."
For her, the experience rekindled the discipline that she had as a kid doing things for hours.
"It reminded me that discipline can come out of things you love," Hibbert said.
Her platform for the pageant was domestic violence. She said her sister was a victim of domestic violence. Her sister died of an aneurysm in 2010.
Getting her message out to others was empowering.
"It was surprising there was a platform that allowed black women's voices to be at the forefront without shutting them down or stereotyping them," she said.
Hibbert, 30, is currently focusing on building her brand as a musician and designer.
She designed and made the dress for competition in Miss Black America.
Hibbert is a looper. She has a machine, a loop station, where she sings into the device which records and repeats the sounds in different patterns. The genre has been compared to neo-soul and alternative styling.
Recently, Hibbert joined a band called "Just Doing My Thing."
"Everyone in the band has their own separate things they do but we come together for the sake of music," she said. "We do a lot of community events."
Fashion and music came at the same time for her.
After her parents would say it was time to stop singing and get ready for bed, Hibbert would go into her room and draw princesses and their outfits.
She is the daughter of Patricia Thomas-Davis and Neville Hibbert.
In the future, she would like to donate 10 percent back to the Miss Black America pageant.
"It's given me so much. It is a great way to give back in the form of awareness to young women," she said.
Hibbert has a YouTube page, Sojourner Songs.
It is a page where she discusses her experiences with the community and includes her music and stories.
"I definitely want to keep Black history in mind in the pursuit of singing for a living," she said.