Last night I was overjoyed by the crowning of a woman of color as Miss USA. Yes, Deshauna Barber (26) won the title over 52 other contestants. I immediately checked the hashtag #MissUSA on Twitter to see if others were as happy & joyous as I was. [This is probably the part where I should’ve known better]. I scrolled & scrolled seeing:
Let’s celebrate black excellence
We solute you Miss USA
I had such a huge smile & my heart overflowed with joy & love for being a black woman. I normally do love being a black woman but this was different. This was me feeling extremely proud of another black woman for joining the ranks of previous Miss USA winners (most of whom aren’t women of color). As I continued to scroll down Twitter I found a couple of unsavory tweets [I’ll paraphrase to avoid issues] :
I thought equality meant ignoring race, why are there people celebrating how the new Miss USA is black?
Why does it matter what color Miss USA is?
Anyone discussing Miss USA being black is racist.
She’s beautiful, can’t that be enough? Why does her race matter?
She shouldn’t have won? Miss Hawaii should’ve won!
Had to pick a ____ (insert racial slur)
The non-existent “reverse racism” was also used.
Those tweets and remarks were sad to read. It just lead me to send several tweets celebrating & basking in #BlackGirlMagic. It was a proud moment for women of color everywhere especially black women. I’ve been watching the Miss USA pageants since I was a little girl. I once had aspirations of participating in pageants but was very discouraged because next to none of the faces I saw looked like mine. To my recollection, I’ve never seen a time when the top 3 finalists were women of color. I’m happy that young women of color have them to look up to.
I’d like to add: Deshauna Barber is not only beautiful but she’s also served in the Armed Forces and worked as an IT analysis. Beauty, brazen and brilliant mind are words that come to mind.
This post is my acknowledgement of Miss USA in her moment. I take notice of how hard it must’ve been to get to Miss USA.
I see nothing wrong with doing so. Black women should definitely celebrate themselves especially when no else will.
I didn’t count on my FEELS getting in the way the day after so I’m guessing there will be a Part 3.