Home Leisure & Sports Michigan’s Ashley Myatt crowned Miss Black America in historic 55th anniversary pageant

Michigan’s Ashley Myatt crowned Miss Black America in historic 55th anniversary pageant

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Miss Black America Pageant winner Ashley Myatt (photo courtesy of Shootworks/free photos).

In a dazzling celebration of Black beauty, talent, and achievement, Michigan’s Ashley Myatt was crowned Miss Black America on Saturday night at the historic 55th-anniversary pageant. The glamorous event unfolded at the former House of Blues venue within the Showboat Resort Atlantic City. Myatt emerged as the standout among the five final candidates. This group included first runner-up Courtney Renford from New York as well as Donna Fairclough, Azraya Davis from New Jersey, and Malani Brayboy from Georgia.

The festivities commenced on Friday and culminated in the grand crowning ceremony on Saturday night, where Myatt, a native of Detroit, expressed her joy and disbelief at winning the prestigious title. “I feel amazing. This is such a great opportunity, especially for little girls who may be looking up to me,” Myatt said. “And it’s just a great opportunity to stand here today. Thank you so much. I’m so happy.” The diverse contestants, aged 17 to 29, showcased their intelligence, talent, and charisma throughout the competition, making the final decision challenging for the judges.

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is proud and pleased to have a national strategic media alliance with the Miss Black America Pageant under the founding leadership of J. Morris Anderson of Philadelphia,” NNPA President/CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., who served as a judge for the contest. The NNPA is the trade association of more than 230 African American-owned newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America. “For the past 55 years, the Miss Black America Pageant has effectively uplifted the genius and beauty of emerging women leaders of Black America,” Chavis said.

“Across the United States and worldwide, Miss Black America is acknowledged as an empowering journey and a global social change phenomenon.” Myatt, a University of Toledo graduate in veterinary medicine, currently works as a vet technician and aspires to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, a field she studied at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. The pageant’s return to the city where the ‘Historic Protest Pageant of 1968’ occurred generated considerable anticipation.

Anderson’s daughter, Aleta Anderson, emphasized distinguishing the Miss Black America Pageant from a Black Miss America pageant. “I’ve been working with this pageant since I was a little girl,” Anderson said. “The thing that it originally was meant for is still there, and it means so much more in that it provides an opportunity for the young women to participate.”

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