Asya Branch, the first Black Miss Mississippi to win Miss USA, will compete for the title of Miss Universe on Sunday. The 69th Miss Universe competition will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Hollywood, Florida.
The event will air live on FOX beginning at 7 p.m. central. The Clarion Ledger reports that Branch, a Booneville native, made history in November by being the first Mississippi representative to win Miss USA. She was also the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Mississippi USA in 2019.
“I was so honored to have made history, but at the same time, I thought, ‘Wow … we’re still having firsts,’” Branch told the newspaper.
Branch, who also represented Mississippi in the separate Miss America pageant in 2018.
Has used the platform to talk about cri-minal justice reform. The issue is personal to her. Branch’s father served a 10-year coustdy sentence that forced him to be away from his family while Branch was growing up.
“It’s really an honor to be able to set this example for young girls to know that they don’t have to look like the person that came before them in order to accomplish their goal,” she said.
Branch will compete against 89 other hopefuls in this year’s competition. I
n 2019, Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, was named the winner. The 2020 competition was canceled due to COV-19 restrictions. If Branch wins, she would be the first Mississippi native to ever hold the title and the first Miss USA to win the competition since 2012.
This is how people reacted to this post:
AD – I’m Filipino-American.
Sadly, many Americans couldn’t care less about pageants. Many of my friends here think they’re archaic and that they objectify women, compared to pageant-crazy countries like the Philippines. That’s probably why we don’t see major support – maybe pageants are not really a priority here.
Savannah Rose – It’s so sad, I feel like our country has put a stigma around pageants and therefore these titleholders don’t get celebrated and honored as much as they do in other countries!! We need to get back to a point where it’s an honor and Miss USA or Miss America becomes a more public role model
Abby Sabbaya – Have her guest in zoom at Missosology, where there’s a vast audience. She will not only gain american fans, but international fans also. Hope the miss USA organization allows her
Dana Hawkins – I would have waited until the costume portion until I commented. Because I think she’s about to stun the world. You never know who’s going to make the effort count because tonight it counted where it mattered the most which was on the stage.
She’s playing the game of being low key. And I can see it. She knows her potential so she won’t be flaunting it and trying to prove it to people. She’s actually confident and I am so excited to see what she shows us next!
This Article Was First Published on thegrio.com