Yep, in the year of our Lord 2019, we are still doing “Black firsts.” This time, it is Asya Branch who has joined the record books after winning the Miss Mississippi USA crown this past weekend.
The former 2018 Miss Mississippi queen is the first Black woman to hold the title in the pageant’s 67-year history.
Asya, of course, is more than just a pretty face. She is also the founder of Finding Your Way: Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents. Inspired by her own separation from her father who has been jail most of her life, she started the nonprofit to provide support to other children whose parents are in jail.
“My father’s been incarcerated half of my life, and it was tough, extremely tough. Going through school, being judged,” she told the Clarion-Ledger in 2018. “I want to empower people all throughout our state. Not just women, but young children, young men, young adults. Just anyone, young or old, I want to leave some sort of impact in their lives,” she said.
With her latest victory, Asya will go on to compete for the Miss USA 2020 crown next spring, which is also currently held by a Black woman.