On September 25, 1962, James Meredith, became the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.  Five days later, riots erupted and two people died and 200 others were injured. Fifty years later, Ole Miss has crowned its first African-American homecoming queen. “I am still in shock, but I am definitely very excited,” said Courtney Roxanne Pearson. Pearson beat Ashleigh Davis 1,477 votes to 1,387 in the historical win. During Saturday’s homecoming game, not only did Ole Miss beat Auburn, but Pearson, a 21 year old English Secondary Education major from Memphis, was escorted by her father, Commander Kerri Pearson during halftime.

Pearson was inspired to run for homecoming by another African-American student’s unsuccessful run and a conversation with a family friend. “As a child, I had a conversation with the son of a family friend,” Pearson said. “We sat and looked through a magazine one day and the front cover had a bigger, African-American young lady on the cover who had been announced as homecoming queen at some university. The young man did not find this young lady very attractive and he asked how in the world is she homecoming queen. As we kept reading, we found out that the homecoming queen at the particular university was chosen from the women who had the highest grade-point averages. This young man, who often had something sarcastic to say about my academic excellence, looked and me and said, ‘Maybe your grades will get you somewhere one day, because your looks sure won’t.’ That was probably be best motivation I could have had.”

Pearson comes from a long line of Ole Miss graduates. “My mother, father and stepmother are all alumni of the university,” Pearson said. “I really believed that Ole Miss was the right place for me. It’s very hard to explain, but I knew exactly where I was supposed to be.” After graduation in May 2013, Pearson has plans to apply to graduate school and Teach For America.

  • Courtney

    Beautiful.

  • Yvette

    Congratulations, Courtney! Keep up that great attitude and that outstandng GPA!

  • Calencia

    Gorgeous!!!

  • African Mami

    Looks like she is being walked down the aisle. Congrats!!!

  • Downsouth Transplant

    I know she did make it a regal looking wave & walk.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Aww congrats to her!

  • Allie

    yay :)

  • Rebekah

    This is FANTASTIC! Not only is she gorgeous, but she took a stand and WON! I’m so happy for her! :D

  • jourdan

    This is a BEAUTIFUL THING! Let me tell you, I just had a heated argument over this piece. After congratulating Ms. Pearson on Twitter, oomf (a black man) said I was RACIST for exclusively celebrating black accomplishments such as this one. (Obviously, he doesn’t know what I celebrate because he doesn’t know me.)

    That just made me want to root for her and other black women like her even more.If WE aren’t going to be proud of US who is? Schools like Ole Miss, LSU, etc. are known to have a racist history. Come on, Ole Miss’s flag is the CONFEDERATE FLAG! So, kudos to Ole Miss’s student body for electing this wonderful woman on such a huge accomplishment! :)

  • edub

    I’m going to “go there” and say that I find it interesting that this school (and I’m from Mississippi and know the intricacies of this school and its sordid past) elects Precious Jones aka Mammy from Gone With the Wind as its first black homecoming queen.

    My mind wonders: is THIS the image of black women, white people are most comfortable with? Of course, it is. I’m not saying she is not a beautiful woman or that she has to be light skin-dedid with a blond weave, I’m saying that while I am quite impressed with this young woman’s beauty, spirit and academic accomplishments, I’m not impressed with the sentiment I feel is working behind the scenes on this. I admit freely that I feel the opposite of excited, in fact, I feel patronized.

    And, given that this is the year of the 50th anniversary of integration at Ole Miss, the plot thickens….

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/james-meredith-ole-miss-integration_n_1929306.html

  • C

    Congratulations to her for winning, and that guy sounds like an ugly person.

  • Echi

    Aww this is too cute. I nearly welled up in tears.
    Congrats cutie!

  • The last laugh

    Real cool story. I just looked up ashleigh davis, she cute but I’m glad this girl won.

  • tj

    I’m inclined to agree.

  • Eric

    Dark Skin Black Women should be outraged

    Because when you all the mammies (Monique, Gabourey Sidibe, etc.) to dominate your image, your DS stock falls.

    Always lead with the best of your group, and the lesser in your group will benefit & prosper.

    No more lightskin, “good” hair hating from now on, y’all are partaking in your own demise.

  • Couble G

    Congrats Courtney!!!

    Congrats Courtney!!!!

  • Laconia

    You’re pathetic.

  • Meridith

    Yay! Congrats Courtney. It’s a great victory! You look absolutely beautiful.

  • Tundra King

    Beauty & brains you have them both!

  • Chrissy

    I feel the same way edub.

  • Perspective

    WOW – you black women don’t get it – This is another GABOUREY SIDIBE STUNT!

    They are NOT trying to offset the white woman.

    Notice they are never trying to put ATTRACTIVE BLACK WOMEN UP THERE – when ever they finally let black WOMEN – ESPECIALLY thru the door.

    This shit is a DISS and TYPICAL – black women don’t see it.

    “Finally we’re accepted”

    CAN’T YOU SEE this is another MAMMY STUNT

    and ya’ll are actually co-signing this

  • Ms. Vee

    One of the stereotypes of the black woman is to be a mammy. How in the hell is this embarrassing crowning something to be proud of? This woman has no idea how the world is clowning her right now (don’t believe me, look it up) as the mammy that she represents. If you are a black woman cosigning this, then something is wrong with you. Delusion is an illness.

  • Perspective

    GO FIND ME A FAT WHITE HOMECOMING QUEEN – You ain’t going to find one. Everyone knows that homecoming queen has always been a BEAUTY CONTEST. Sure every once in a while you get a charity – but this is a BLATANT “BACKHANDED” DISS – since it’s the backhand you never see it coming.

    I’ve seen white people do this at hot body contest – giving the WIN to the overweight black women – just for the FUN OF IT, and these black women take it as ACCEPTANCE AND VALIDATION.

    We’re so desperate for reaffirmation that WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHEN WE ARE BEING DISSED!

  • Eric

    @Perspective Unbelievable, sigh

  • Ms. Vee

    Agreed.

  • Alrighty then

    Home coming queen? Oh no, Someone really really lied to her. I am sorry but Home coming Queen? Oh this has such a white joke written all over this, how many of u ppl can’t see that is beyond me. smdh.

  • Alrighty then

    Sigh i am so sick n tired of seeing fat black women that is all i see FAT FAT FAT like not everyone or every man is even attracted to a fat woman, this woman is obese. Home coming queen is about beauty contest its not about academics, they have different awards for that. Geez they clowned this girl hard n u fools in here co-signing to this, smdh at times i can’t even get upset because many of u women are so ignorant to the fact and so stupid to not see how white ppl are taking u for idiots. geez

  • Alrighty then

    Idiots do not listen to reasoning.

  • Alrighty then

    Sad.

  • A.Memphis10

    I want to say this… I’m from Memphis, and I do know Courtney because we are members of the same church here in Memphis. She’s beautiful, bright, has an excellent personality and is spiritually gifted. I’m sure she worked hard to achieve such a grand status and is worthy of the title. I’m proud of her!

    However….
    When I mentioned that the Ole Miss homecoming queen was a church member to 2 of my co-workers (who are white alum of the university & very socially active on the Ole Miss scene), I got a very “chilly”, oh yeah, she’s a pretty girl response from them. They wouldn’t really acknowledge the historical value…. kinda was very dismissive about it. It surprised me, that 2 of the biggest die hard Ole Miss alums that I know, didn’t share in my elation. Besides, these are 2 of the people openly divulge stories every Monday morning about stories that happen in The Grove from the weekend prior, from the most mundane to the most elaborate…. however something with such meaning completely was ignored. Made me go “hmmmmmmmm”

  • Susan

    You are so stupid really!!!!

  • gerru

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…..what happened to the content of your character and not the color of your skin??

  • Really??!!

    ok. I don’t understand this. They couldn’t find an attractive, slender or in shape black woman? I can’t co sign this. She is overweight and unattractive. Just another Mammy.

  • Love Sosa

    shut yo dumb ass up. how crappy of a comment did you just make?

    just be glad that it happened and she won. sure you’re not what some people would consider homecoming queen material either.

  • Love Sosa

    like your comment is really downright ignorant, and you just suck as a human being. who doesn’t know a fat black girl that is popular in school. we all know them… why? because they’re usually on top of their books and nice to everyone they see. she is probably a really personable and motivated person. but you only see a fat black girl, so she doesn’t deserve to be homecoming queen? you’re a shit human.

    she won and the best thing you can do is critique her, you probably got on Gabby Douglas about her hair at the olympics too.

  • Really??!!

    I’m assuming you are fat,right?

  • Love Sosa

    nah, i’m actually only about 150 pounds. i’m just not a shit brain like you and am proud of her accomplishment despite her outer appearance.

  • Really??!!

    Actually I am very pride of Gabby Douglas and what she has achieved. I didn’t give two hoots about her hair. She is a great representation of a young black woman. Courtney maybe a very motivated and personable young lady but that does not change what is being represented and display as a joke and a backhanded compliment. And sweetheart you don’t know me to know what kind of human being I am. Just speaking the truth. I don’t take things for face value unlike some people. I have to understand the reason why things are being throw in my face by the white infrastructure.

  • Really??!!

    I truly agree. Black women DO NOT know when they are being dissed. This is not white America suddenly accepting the beauty of black women. This is them clowning us. And we are just content with being represented. No matter how and why. They would never ever in a million years have an overweight, unattractive homecoming queen. It will not happen. Ever.

  • CenterLeft

    Apply this to short men?

  • CenterLeft

    Same sh** me and my mother said when we saw it. F***ing sympathy vote to the black community from whites…

  • CenterLeft

    So, you are going to vote for a short man for homecoming king? F*** outta here!!!!!

  • CenterLeft

    Good comment Willie Pete!

  • CenterLeft

    Co-f***ing-sign!!!

  • CenterLeft

    Yeah, find a SHORT homecoming king…

  • CenterLeft

    So you would vote for a 5’2 homecoming king? Take off your rose-colored spectacles…

  • CenterLeft

    It was because she was FAT…

  • Wendy

    Ok. I get that some people feel that weight determines beauty. I get that the Old South is all about their tokens within the Black community. I think we should take a step back and examine just exactly what the current standard is and what it signifies.
    Throughout history, American and World, the determination of beauty has been up for grabs. Skin color is pretty consistently up there. The darker you are the lower your Status.however money can tend to bend the society rules (think Pele or Sammy Sosa) if your darker. However conventional beauty today espouses a much leaner and less curvaceous frame. So what are we questioning and is it in the correct context?

    Given “Old” Miss’s history and the backdrop of Mississippi even if this is an attempt at ‘blackface humor’ when will our society place beauty on an accurate scale rather than what is pleasing to someone’s subjective eye? Most of these contests are rated on a glorified popularity and the local political scale of standards.
    In this case attacking this young woman based on your subjective standards is easy to do online away from the climate that she faces daily being a black member of Ole Miss society.
    We have to do better in supporting each other as people first and integrate our standards of beauty as the world does. Think Alex Wek as a fashion model. Some people will never think of contests like these as anything more than a glorified beauty contest, but in today’s standards the value and beauty of a woman is far more than just what she looks like.
    Coming from a woman who has been skinny, chubby, fat, and average but always beautiful by my family, peer , and respective organizational standards. I hope that we all put our comments in the context of what we would want someone to say about our sister, mother, aunt, girlfriend, cousin, etc. Ultimately what’s more important content of character or subjective standards?

  • Shane, GPHR

    This story is sad and sick. It’s sick because the students elected this girl as a low key diss. It’s sad because so many black women are co-signing this girl like it’s a victory for black women when really it’s a loss. All this serves to do is reinforce the image of black women as overweight or obese and that they accept being fat. Sadly a majority of black women are fat, over 75% of them being overweight, with half of them being obese. These numbers lead all groups of Americans by a large margin, this is why BW are typically portrayed as overweight/obese mammys.

    BW claim to be so educated but this makes one question their so called education when they could not pick up on the racist undertones. The fact that students at Old Miss rioted when President Obama was re-elected should tell you how they really feel. They have a hard time dealing with a black person who might be just as good as them or even better. They feel comfortable with blacks who are stereotypes, you know, the thug, the baby mother, the obese mammy, the hoodrat, the person who speaks like a slave. That’s what happened for Homecoming, they picked a STEREOTYPICAL black woman to be homecoming Queen, one who they feel comfortable with and who is inferior to their women. You actually think they would have elected a slim, attractive black woman who can hold her own against any beautiful white woman ???? HELL NO.
    They picked Precious to be their homecoming queen and basically said to black people, ” Here, this is what represents your women” .

    They have no problem with a fat, unattractive black woman because she is a stereotype and no threat.

    They have a huge problem with a black or biracial man, with a sky high IQ, who succeeds at every stage of life and who is simply just better than most of them. An intelligent black man, who doesn’t fit any of their stereotypes is found to be a threat be racist whites. White supremacy has many thinking that they are naturally better than people of color , so when a person of color comes along and totally shoots down those beliefs, racist whites often can’t handle it.

    Black Women , WAKE UP. White promotion of fat black woman is an undercover diss. Having a magazine cover with 3 pretty white females and Precious was a diss. Most men aren’t attracted to fat women and they image being promote tells the world that most black women are fat and sexually undesirable. The fact that black women seem to embrace being fat only serves to reinforce that negative image. Black women, they are laughing at you, but the arrogance many BW have blinds them to this.

    Ask yourself this question, they are pushing the image of the fat/obese black woman, but they rarely push the image of the fat/obese white woman. Look at the reality shows? They seek out fat , ghetto black women, but not fat, trashy white women.

  • Shane, GPHR

    If you consider a racist joke and backhanded compliment/diss to be a beautiful, then yea it’s real beautiful. Homecoming Queen is a beauty contest and they fact that they picked an obese, undesirable woman as their 1st blk homecoming queen speaks volumes as to how racist Ole Miss still is. They are basically saying “here, this is what your women look like”, as they laugh amongst themselves.

  • Shane, GPHR

    I agree with you. Sadly, since most black woman are overweight, they are trying guilt others into accepting that and men into finding them attractive. As a group it seems are attempting to lower the bar instead of rising up to it. It is backfiring on them. All they have done is make themselves more and more undesirable to men and black men especially are starting to avoid them.

    You cannot guilt men into desiring fat/ugly women. Yea you do have some chubby chasers who have a fetish and there are broke guys and jailbirds who have to settle for fat chicks, but on average , most men aren’t into fat women and nothing can change that. You can put Precious on a magazine cover every month, she will still not be desirable.

  • Shane, GPHR

    She may have the brains, but she’s lacking in the beauty department. She wasn’t elected for her beauty, she was elected because she’s a stereotype that racist whites feel comfortable with.

  • Submissive black girl

    Agree! & Co-sign!!
    There are in shape attractive Black women out here. Girls like Gabby Sidbe and this homecoming queen are so thirsty for attention they’ll make fools of themselves and the rest of black women.

    -Submissive black girl

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