Williams, Whitney Whitney Williams is Miss Arkansas 2021. FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (KNWA/KFTA) – On Saturday, June 18, 52 young ladies competed in the 83rd Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant in Little Rock, but there could only be one winner. After much deliberation, we have decided to send two women to represent our state: one who calls herself "Miss Vegan Arkansas" and another who describes herself as "the original 'Glamazon' - a mix of beauty and brains."
Both women possess strong beliefs about animal rights and they have used their platforms to speak out against practices such as dolphin captivity and dog fighting. They have also promoted vegan cuisine and products during their reign as Miss Arkansas.
The first woman to win the title of Miss Arkansas was Carolyn Jones Brown. She had been crowned her predecessor's queen and was given the opportunity to choose which platform she wanted to compete on: talent or speech. Since this was before the creation of the scholarship pageant, all contestants were allowed to compete for both prizes. Ms. Brown went on to become one of the most successful female artists in country music history, selling over 10 million records during her career. After marrying singer-songwriter Jerry Lee Lewis, she became Mrs. Lewis and had three children together. She died in a car accident in 1963 at the age of 36.
Arkansas City The Miss Arkansas and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageants will return to Little Rock's Robinson Center on June 12-20, 2021. For more information, visit www.missarkansasoutstandingteens.com.
The new state pageant headquarters will open its doors in late 2020 or early 2021 near downtown Arkansas City in Clay County. The site was previously home to a J.C. Penney store that closed in 2016. The building will be renovated into a 5,000-seat arena for basketball and other events.
Clay County is about an hour north of Little Rock via I-30. Highway 71 goes directly from I-540 in Little Rock to Arkansas City.
Miss Tennessee 2019 breaks ground. Brianna Mason, Miss Tennessee 2019, is the first black woman to win the title in the event's 80-year history. Mason, a 23-year-old Nashville native and middle school teacher, triumphed in her fourth attempt in the tournament. She earned nearly $50,000 in prizes and hadher image displayed in retail stores across the country.
There have been several black contestants who have made it into the final stage of competition but none who have won. In fact, no African American has ever won the title.
The first black contestant was crowned in 1949 when Lela Scott became Miss America. She went on to become an actress and singer; she died in 1993 at the age of 58. Another black woman, Deja Fox, was crowned Miss Universe in 1975 but did not represent the United States at the time because companies that sponsored pageants were not allowed to discriminate on racial grounds.
Since then, no other black woman has even made it into the top 15 finalists.
In addition to Scott and Fox, other black women have competed as Miss America but did not win. They include Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1949), Leila Martin (1950), Carolyn Blackwood (1951), Linda Brown (1952), Maxine Waters (1953), Vivian Johnson (1954), and Wilhelmina Cooper (1955).
Sullivan's interest in current affairs led to her first appearance in a pageant in 1977, when she was named Miss Morrilton. Continuing to use her passion of public speaking, she was crowned Miss UCA in 1978 and Miss White River in 1979. She was the first African American Miss Arkansas in 1980. After graduating from college, she went on to become an actress. She was a regular on The Cosby Show for several years.
So, was there ever a black Miss Arkansas? Well, yes and no. During her reign, she helped break down racial barriers within the state competition. However, after her victory, no black women were allowed to compete as Miss Arkansas until 1989, when Shari Seymour became the first black winner. Since then, three more black women have won the title: Leisa Riley in 1990, Deidre Downs in 1991 and Alana Evans in 2001.
In conclusion, there was a black Miss Arkansas in 1980 but she didn't win the title. In 1989, after Sullivan's death, her sister, Sharon Smith, took over the role and continued to represent Arkansas in the Miss Universe contest.