Brianna Mason, a 23-year old Nashville native, has recently been crowned Miss Tennessee, making her the first ever Black woman to win the title since the competition started over 80 years ago. And Mason had to try competing four times before actually winning it.
“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,” said Mason.
“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, who is a first grade teacher, performed “Piano Fantasy” in the talent segment, helping her win the crown and a $15,000 scholarship. She will be representing Tennessee in the Miss America 2020.
Her win comes after the consecutive wins of Black women in America’s major pageants including Cheslie Kryst in Miss USA, Kaliegh Garris in Miss Teen USA, and Nia Franklin in Miss America.