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New Miss Black USA Crowned In Las Vegas

with 6 comments

by Odell B. Ruffin
Seattle Medium

Kristen Elizabeth White of Georgia has been crowned Miss Black USA. Receiving the crown following a seven-day competition between 50 women in Las Vegas June 23, she remained hunched over praying as people handed her flowers. Among the dozens of elegant women, her beauty, poise, grace, talent and the full support of her family gave her the edge.

“Oh my God I’m just so humbled. I was in this competition with some of the most prolific outstanding women I have ever encountered in my twenty-seven years on this earth. And so I’m definitely honored; I look forward to taking this crown and representing my sisters well,” said White.

She, no doubt, looked forward to taking off her heels and relaxing after the long and stringent process.

The 21st Annual event took place at The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on Monday June 23rd in front of sold out crowd. “As a young girl, I often read the works of great Black she-roes and was inspired by their courage, strength and resiliency. I had a dream to create a national platform for young minority women,” said founder Karen Arrington with a soul full of pride for her contestants.

All 50 contestants started the show in unity with an exciting Broadway-styled dance. Then, the top 15 contestants wowed the audience with their talent and beauty in the fitness, evening gown, talent and critical question and answers competitions.

Celebrity co-host Lamman Rucker from the films �Meet the Browns� and �Why Did I Get Married� added to the show with his sharp humor.

�It�s simply an education for me, they reached out to me. And I was honored to support our young Black women� said Rucker.

For more than 20 years, the Miss Black USA organization has recognized the accomplishments of outstanding African-American women and celebrated women in mind, body and spirit. This includes celebrating scholastic achievement and the belief that education is the key to success. Talent was also a significant part of the competition. From Opera, gospel, mime, poetry and acting, the group seemed ready to go on tour.

A turning point in the competition was apparently White�s response in the question and answer session. �To whom much is given, much is required,� said White when asked how she would balance being the next Miss Black USA and her current duties. It was a solid, confident answer when it seemed most contestants were struggling. Others took her lead referring back to her statement; no doubt flattering the former Miss Black Georgia.

The goodbye for the reigning beauty queen about to turn over the crown is one of the most emotional and longest traditions in any pageant; one that former Miss Black USA Kaliah Allen-Harris had to deal with as she gave her farewell.

�This has been a very remarkable year. It�s a bitter sweet occasion I will miss the interaction with the staff. But its time to move on and do other things; I�m really grateful for the opportunity to be Miss Black USA and it will always be in my heart� said Harris, beaming with joy. She is now headed for medical school.

The Runner ups were also outstanding. Melissa Safiya McClinton (Miss Black Massachusetts) brought the house down with her monologue about starting a new form of pageant.

�I�m through with all these beauty contests. I�m gonna start me an ugly pageant. That�s right. Imagine what it would be like with ugly women from all over the world to be part of this,� said McClinton to a huge laugh. In a southern accent, she was portraying herself as a southern man.

Then, topping the evening, the evening gown contest showed the true essence of all the women. As they lined up for one final time each looking like queens. Runners ups were Brittany Carradine (Miss. Black Oklahoma), Audrey Allison Cox (Miss Black North Carolina), and Sonja McCord (Miss Black West Virginia).

�It�s tough being close but I know that God has a plan for me. He led me through this and I know that the more I stay involved the closer I will get,� said McCord.

Upon receiving her crown, White also received a walk on role on the TBS show Tyler Perry�s �House of Payne�.

Her new life begins.

She said, �I�ve been trained in film, and it�s something I�ve always wanted to do so I�m ready.�


Written by Symphony

July 10, 2008 at 12:08 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Why is it okay to have Miss Black USA? If there is a Miss White USA, I’m sure someone will give a fuss about it… Just wonderin’


    July 17, 2008 at 4:35 am

  2. Dear ALL ABOUT ASIA: This is in reply to your question, why is it OK to have a Miss Black USA? This is just taking a leap–and the answer partly may be in your e-mail name, ALL ABOUT ASIA. If you are Asian and have lived in the USA a short while, I can readily understand your question. You simply do not know the heritage of Blacks in America. The answer is: In the past years in this wonderful country, historically, Blacks were shunned from beauty pagents. They were not given the opportunity to compete. Therefore, Blacks took it upon themselves to create their own pagents. It is all about segregation and the Black struggle and the struggle that our own Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., marched for. Keep asking questions–that is the only way you will learn.

    Heleln Coleman

    August 7, 2008 at 10:56 am

    • MLK marched against segregation and marched for equality in his famous ” I have a dream” he points out that by letting go of the past and working together can racism be defeated. this competition is a step back and racist

      mike d

      November 22, 2009 at 9:30 pm

  3. Heleln Coleman, you are simply wrong. The heritage of black Americans is not relevant to the Miss Black USA pageant of today. In times when African Americans were not allowed to compete in beauty pageants, there was just cause for us to organize our own. However, that time has passed. Today African Americans (as well as any other demographic of Americans) can and do enter the regular Miss USA pageant. To have a Miss Black USA pageant that only African Americans can enter is inherently discriminatory. Today, we as black people are, and I hate to say it, some of the most abjectly racist groups I know. We have been and still continue to be discriminated against, but that certainly does not give us the right to dicriminate against other groups.

    It’s okay though, Mrs. Coleman , keep reading responses; that is the only way you will learn.

    Travis B

    September 3, 2008 at 9:26 pm

  4. you don’t have to be fully african american to enter the pageant. you must, however, have african american lineage


    February 12, 2009 at 12:05 am

    • How does that even make a difference?


      December 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

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