Black beauty queens continue to break barriers this pageant cycle! On Saturday night, Brianna Mason was crowned Miss Tennessee, becoming the first African-American woman to win the title since the competition began a little over 80 years ago.
Following her win, Mason, who competed four times before winning, shared what the capturing the title meant to her.
“I can’t even put into words how special that is, and I knew I was going to be emotional when thinking about this, but like I said I’ve been competing for so long, and there’s a Miss Tennessee room with portraits of all past Miss Tennessees and none of them looked liked me,” she said. “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.”
Mason earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. When she isn’t competing, she’s empowering young minds as a first grade teacher in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
She will represent Tennessee in the Miss America 2020 competition.
Congratulations Brianna! Your story is proof that if you are determined to break a barrier and reach a girl, you will!