#BlackGirlMagic has taken over pageantry this year and now we can add another melanin Queen to the list of historical African American beauty queens. Elementary school teacher and Nashville native, Brianna Mason, has become the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Tennessee.
The pageant, held at the University of Tennessee, was Mason’s fourth attempt at winning the crown, as she revealed she was determined to win the pageant for all young black women. The 23-year-old was second runner-up in last year’s pageant when she competed as Miss Knoxville. However, upon being crowned Miss Tennessee this year, Mason will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant later on this year.
In a press conference following her win, Mason said, “I can’t even put into words how special this is. I have been competing for so long, and there’s a Miss Tennessee room with portraits of all past Miss Tennessees, and none of them looked like me.”
She continued, “And so I’ve made it my goal for the last couple of years to make sure my face gets up there not just for me, but for all of the young ladies who look like me and don’t think they can do it just because of their skin color. I’m here to tell you that it does not matter what your skin color is. It does not matter what your religion is. You can do anything that you want.”