Back To Black: Black Woman Wins Miss USA Again
For the second year in a row, the Miss USA crown went to a Black woman from the District of Columbia.
Miss D.C. Twenty-five-year-old Kára McCullough became the 66th Miss USA during Sunday night’s pageant, with Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg named the runner-up and Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould the second runner-up.
Among the top five — Minnesota, Illinois, South Carolina, New Jersey and District of Columbia — four were women of color, which didn’t go unnoticed, with social media celebrating the #blackgirlmagic on the Miss USA stage.
As she joked earlier in the competition, McCullough hoped to win the crown to give D.C. “back to back” wins “like Drake.” Miss D.C. 2016 Deshauna Barber won the competition last year. Before passing on the crown Sunday night, Barber shared an emotional story about her mother’s death shortly after she won Miss USA.
McCullough works as a scientist for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, with a concentration in Radiochemistry from South Carolina State University in 2013.
She was widely praised during the Miss USA pageant for sporting her natural curly hair, as opposed to the trend of smoother locks, something she admitted she was initially nervous about.
“I didn’t know if people were going to accept it…if anyone was going to be receptive to it at all,” she said in a post interview.
Naples-born McCullough won over judges Julianne Hough, Ashley Graham and Terrence Jenkins with her beauty and her answers to questions that covered subjects in healthcare, social media, women’s rights and issues facing teenagers.
One of the standout questions was about the hot button topic right now: healthcare. When asked if she thinks affordable healthcare is a right or a privilege for U.S. citizens, McCullough said it was a “definitely” a privilege. Her answer was met to mixed reactions.
“As a government employee, I am granted healthcare. And I see firsthand that for one to have healthcare, you need to have jobs,” she said. “So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunities to have healthcare as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.”
“As a woman scientist in the government, I’d like to lately transpose the word feminism to equalism,” she said when…