Miss Black USA 2015 Reigns
On August 9th, 2015 Miss Black USA made its return back to the Nation’s Capitol to crown Miss Black USA 2015. The big night was held at the Theatre for Performing Arts at the University of the District of Columbia. The pageant was hosted by Kalilah Allen-Harris, M.D. an actress, physician and a former Miss Black USA (2007). The crowning event also showcased a special performance by Grammy Nominated Singer, Producer and Musician Johnny Britt performing his hit single “Beautiful Queen”. In addition, the newest addition to this year’s Miss Black USA was the live streaming through the website www.MissBlackUSA.org (https://www.missblackusa.org) parlaying the e
vent right into the world of high technology.. As the reigning Miss Black USA stepped down newly selected winner Madison Gibbs began her reign as she was crowned Miss Black USA.
The Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant is a national scholarship competition for young women of African descent that was founded in 1986 by Karen Arrington as a non-profit corporation in the state of Maryland, recognized under the 501(c)3 code of the Internal Revenue Service.
It’s major service is awarding scholarships for college and graduate school to young women of color between the ages of 18 and 27. In 2007, over eighty percent of the contestants were pursuing graduate or professional degrees.
The 2007 winner, Kalilah Allen-Harris was a first-year medical student at Meharry Medical College. Each year, a winner is selected to serve as “Miss Black USA” for one year and receives an academic scholarship. She reigns until the newly chosen winner is crown at which time the current Miss USA become the past Miss USA.
In addition to the fabulous talent of all the wonderful contestants in the pageant this year Grammy nominated artist Johnny Britt performed and wowed the crowd. Look for his new break out single“I Tried” which will entered the Billboard Charts with the most added record at smooth jazz radio the top of July.
The Miss Black USA Pageant is the epitome of what Karen Arrington sought to achieve: the discovery of the power and talent of black women and all they can be. All of the contestants were beautiful enthusiastic and talented, each representing their city and state from various locations across the USA, but of course there can only be one winner. This year’s Miss Black USA crown went to Miss Greensboro, North Carolina, Madison Gibbs.
Congratulations, Madison, and continue to inspire young black women across the nation to aspire for great things in their lives and to reach their potential.
Not the typical pageant girl, Madison Gibbs has come out on top. She has participated in four beauty pageant competitions revealing that she does well. In December 2014, she was crowned Miss Black North Carolina USA, after competing in the scholarship pageant at the Garner (N.C.) Performing Arts Center.
Gibbs confesses that she didn’t think that she was going to win. However she’s discovered that during the competitions she drowns out everyone else in order for her to focus on herself and what it is she’s prepared to present.
The 21 year old participated in the scholarship pageant after being crowned Miss Black Piedmont USA. Before that title, she participated in the first Mister and Miss A&T pageant, in which she was first runner up. As a high school senior, she was crowned Miss Dudley (High School).
“In high school, when I competed, I cried so much and said I never wanted to do another pageant in my life,” she said.
In addition to winning it all at the state level, she also placed first in the categories of evening wear, athletic wear and talent, an area she struggled with in previous competitions.
After that Gibbs was poised to represent her home state in the Miss Black USA scholarship pageant in August. She said then,
“Whether I win or not, I think the next one is going to be my last one.”
“For my first pageant, I did a spoken word piece, and that is really hard to pull off. Then I did a liturgical dance set to Maya Angelou’s ‘And Still I Rise,’” Gibbs said. “This time I said, ‘I need to do something I know how to do and that I’m good at.’”
“The work in the community and volunteering I do – it kind of counts toward the pageant, but it’s not for the pageant. It’s just what I do,” she said
“A lot of people don’t have the advantages I have of being a part of the A&T network and being connected to other HBCUs and to Greek life,” she said. “These are all avenues I can use to connect with other people who want to do great things in their communities just like I do.”
Gibbs is a political science major, and she has a family connection to A&T. She’s a granddaughter of former A&T President Warmoth T. Gibbs, namesake of Gibbs Hall.
She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully). She is also a Wabash-Provost Scholar and a member of Toastmasters, A&T Mock Trial Society, Model UN and the Student Union Advisory Board.
With just one semester until graduation, she has her sights set on attending law school and raising the necessary funds to get to the national competition in Washington in August.
“Almost as soon as I won, people came running to me and telling me to start thinking of fundraising ideas,” she said.
While she will have some help, Gibbs has been tasked with raising at least $3,500 for expenses, so she started a GoFundMe page,https://www.gofundme.com/missblackncusa15.
After winning and recognizing how her hard work paid off, and the opportunities it afforded her she accelerated her focus which lead her to the ultimate win.
As Miss Black USA Gibbs expressed her thinking prior to winning, “I was blessed with bigger and better and because of this I want to do everything I can under my title to have an impact. “I knew that I needed an enormous amount of support on this journey to bring the crown home.” Well she got them both the support and the crown.”
Congratulations Madison Gibbs, Miss Black USA!