Tonight marked a historic and magical night full of #blackgirlmagic for young girls of color everywhere. Sunday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas featured 52 contestants battling it out for the title of Miss USA. The 52nd contestant, appropriately named "Miss 52,” Alexandria Miller, was herself the winner of an online search via social media for a 52nd entrant. However, it was Miss District of Columbia, Deshauna Barber, who took the crown. The 26-year-old retired Army master sergeant sealed the deal when she flawlessly answered a question about the United States military allowing women to serve in all sectors of the armed forces. "As a woman in the United States Army, I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate into every branch of the military. We are just a tough as men,” Barber answered with poise and eloquence during the show’s question-and-answer portion. Miss D.C. kept slaying in a second question-and-answer portion for the pageant’s top three contestants between herself, Miss Hawaii, and Miss Georgia. Each was asked to define what “confidently beautiful" means to them.
Barber is the latest woman of color to take the top honors. Nadia Sanchez, from Nevada, was the last winner of color in 2014, and Nana Meriwether, 2012, of Maryland was the last Black winner. Barber is in excellent company and we look forward to what she accomplishes with her title. Long may she reign.