Daphne's 1st Interview as Miss Black USA

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The newly crowned Miss Black USA Daphne Lee slayed her first interview after capturing the national crown with her predecessor Tonille Watkis.  The two beauties made a guest appearance on WJLA-ABC7 NewsChannel 8. The interview kicked off with Daphne and Tonille showing Hosts Adriana Hopkins, Kidd O'Shea and Larry Smith how to walk, wave and smile like Pageant girls.

Miss Black USA Announces The Empowerment Lipstick

Every day is National Lipstick Day at Miss Black USA.  We are proud to announce a new partnership with Lamik Beauty where beauty is revealed not applied.  Miss Black USA and Lamik Beauty launched the Empowerment Lipstick.  The new RED lipstick empowers women while supporting a good cause.  Proceeds from the sale each lipstick are donated to the Miss Black USA Scholarship Fund.

To date, Miss Black USA has awarded over $450,000 in scholarships to its participants. To purchase the empowerment lipstick, go to www.lamik-beauty.com.  


 

Judges Announced for Miss Black USA 2017

The finals night Judges for Miss Black USA 2017 have been selected.  In the hot seat, this year is Stevie Baggs Jr.  If this charming smile looks familiar, millions saw him as the Bachelor on WE-TVs Match Made in Heaven. Like our Miss Black USA Queens, this King is more than his good looks with a career as a three-time All-American linebacker, playing in both the NFL and CFL, for teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Drawing from his experience in professional sports, Stevie Baggs Jr. has dedicated time in his career to empowering youth and adults as an impactful inspirational speaker. Stevie can be spotted on the big screens having worked alongside Will Smith in the movie "Focus." You will see him in the Ang Lee film "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk". Recognized as the only athlete to play for eleven professional teams in ten years, nicknamed "Shakespeare", he continues to inspire and make plays off the field. In his bestselling book, "Greater than the Game," and now in the hot seat.

Joining Stevie is Ocielia Gibson, an award-winning young women’s specialist, speaker, author, and minister at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. She is the founder of More Than a Pretty Face International, a life-enrichment company which has impacted young women throughout the US and Kenya. Named an Unsung Hero by EBONY Magazine, Ocielia is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University and currently pursuing her Masters in Theological Studies at Southwestern Theological Seminary. In 2011, she became the first woman from Texas to be crowned Miss Black USA. Her first book, More Than Pretty: Defining Beauty Through the Lens of Scripture, is available in Christian bookstores nationwide, Amazon and at Ocielia.com.

 

Last, but not least is Dr. Myla Bennett.  Defying all odds, Dr. Myla Bennett has become one of the most sought after female plastic surgeons on the East Coast. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University Medical Center and has been featured in both national and international publications and networks including JET Magazine, NBC, Black Enterprise, Bravo Television Network, Radio One, WEtv, and much more. Dr. Myla Bennett is the owner of Ederra Bella Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa®, and the founder of both the Preserve Your Pretty® and Preserve Your Handsome™ brands. She has had the opportunity to work with celebrity and influential clients throughout her career and she will be in the hot seat.  Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.

Rhode Island Wins Talented Teen Crown

Angela Pierre-Louis, a 17-year-old Haitian-American shining star of the Y2K millennial generation was captured the 2017 Miss Black USA Talented Teen title and crown this weekend on July 1st.  Angela is the 1st teen ever to represent Rhode Island and grace the national Miss Black USA Talented Teen Pageant stage.  on July 1st, 2017. Her hard work, dedication, and soca infused martial arts/dance routine helped her secure the Miss Black USA Talented Teen title!

She was born in Providence, Rhode Island and is currently a National Honor Society Senior at St. Mary's Academy Bayview. During her free time, she volunteers at her church New Life Worship Center and participates in school clubs that aim to enhance the lives of others within her community.

Angela launched her personal platform, “Keeping it Key-lean”, to educate teens and young adults on personal care & hygiene to promote self-confidence.

In the future, Angela aspires to be the #1 dermatologist in the world. Her dream is to help others feel beautiful in their own skin!  For booking or media interviews email pr@missblackusa.org.

Other Finalists were
1st Runner Up - North Carolina's Kennedy Byrd
2nd Runner Up - Alabama's Kiesha Lee
3rd Runner Up - Arizona's Jasmine Marshall
4th Runner Up - Georgia's Madison McCoy

Miss Congeniality - Oregon's Skylar Pierce-Smith
Community Service - Oregon's Skylar Pierce-Smith
Jasmine Alexis Talent Award - North Carolina's Kennedy Byrd
Karen Arrington Legacy Award - Colorado's Taylor Parrish

Miss Black USA Partners with Custom Ethnic Doll Maker

It's only befitting that Miss Black USA, the nation's premier pageant for women of color partner with the Queen of Ethnic Doll-Making, Karen Byrd.  Miss Black USA is proud to announce this partnership to empower young girls of color to see themselves in dolls and Queens that look like them.

Miss Black USA CEO, Karen Arrington, an award-winning women's empowerment expert and global philanthropist, applauds Karen Byrd on the importance of instilling positive self-image our young girls through her ethnic doll collection featuring ethnic inspired hair styles

Karen Byrd is a mother, artist, natural hair enthusiast and business woman from California. In 2011, Karen created Natural Girls United, a one-woman business that gives makeovers to black Barbies by replacing their straight hair with natural styles, to have the look and feel of ethnic-inspired hair styles.

What started as a hobby has grown into a full-time business. Auburn dreads, charcoal twists, a honey-blonde 'fro — Karen makes them all! 

Karen has always understood the need for our young girls and women to have positive images of themselves because it impacts self-esteem, confidence, and how we feel about ourselves overall. Her hope is that her dolls will help others to recognize their beauty and find joy in having locs, braids, kinky hair, curls, waves and more. Karen is working hard to show everyone that our beauty is amazing and worth celebrating.

Her Natural Hair Dolls have been featured nationally and internationally on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show, The Steve Harvey Show, BET.com, HuffingtonPost.com, Clutch Magazine, Upscale Magazine and more, and on natural hair blogs in France, Spain, Germany, and Brazil. Karen is looking forward to continuing to inspire young women and growing her business.

As a child, I remember playing with dolls that were beautiful. But they never looked like me. Their hair, features and skin tones did not match mine.  I always wondered - if my Barbie doll is beautiful and it doesn’t look like me… does that mean that I am not pretty?  This is a question I struggled with through my childhood into early adulthood. Even though I had an amazing mom that always told me how beautiful I was, all the images around me in the media contradicted this message.  And seeing other young women in my community that did value their own beauty also did not help.

As an adult, while shopping with my own daughters, I was shocked to find that stores still did not have dolls that reflected the beauty of the ethnic community. There were a few dolls that would surface every now and again, but it was not very often.  On the average, a young girl of an ethnic cultural background could not go to just any store and find a doll that looks like her. This is something that needs to change. 

There has been a continuous problem in our community where we don’t seem to value our own beauty, history or heritage.  It is something that has been a problem for a very long time.  In articles, videos and news stories such as “Black Girls Want White Dolls”, “What a Doll Tells Us About Race”,  “Black Doll White Doll & A Girl Like Me” - it is apparent that this is something that affects many children and adults;  and that there is a need for positive community change. 

There is a need for our young girls to be able to have dolls that look like them.  It is something that affects their self-esteem and confidence, and how they few about themselves from an early age. There have been quite a few studies done (as noted above) that show that African American boys and girls often think of black dolls as bad and white dolls as good.  Of course, this is not something that the parent is teaching their child. So why are they getting these mixed messages about good and bad skin color or good and bad hair?  It all has to do with the images they see as they grow up. If a child is constantly looking at images, dolls, television, books and magazines - and only seeing beauty as something or someone with non-ethnic features and someone that has long straight hair - then they are going to assume that this is what beauty is. It is something that has hurt our young people for centuries. But each day we learn that it is important to show them and teach them that their beauty is indeed beautiful.

I have wanted to take on the project of customizing dolls hair, to have the look and feel of styles and textures of African American & Multi-Cultural (ethnic) women and girls, for a long time.  From this came the Natural Girls United project that has now turned into a business, and is something that I hope will help to bring a positive view of what ethnic beauty is.  

My goal is to have a doll line that ranges in skin tones from a light to dark complexions. I would like for there to be a variety of hair styles that represent the styles that can be seen in many ethnic cultures – Dreadlocks, Sisterloc’s, Loc’s, Afro’s, Braids, Twist, Cornrows, Curls and more.   The doll's features should also represent the girls and women from ethnic backgrounds.  Empowerment is a big driving force behind this line of dolls with customized hair.  Each doll will hopefully send a message of hope. It is a goal to have dolls that are doctors, artist, businesswomen, athletes, teachers and more.  A little girl should be able to look at their doll and say my doll looks like me and I want to be a doctor just like my doll when I grow up.  To learn more visit www.naturalgirlsunlimited.com.

On Newstands: Sophisticate's Black Hair Features Miss Black USA

The August issues of Sophisticate's Black Hair magazine, a leading national Black hair magazine for women of color, hits newsstands today!  The issues features, Tonille Watkis, the reigning Miss Black USA is several fire hair styles that make you want to book an appointment *stat* with your stylist.

ORS the official hair care partner of Miss Black USA 2017 coordinating the shoot and we can't say enough about their style gurus and super power products.

America's Got Talent Winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to Co-Host

Over 100 sold out concerts across three continents, from Caesars Palace to the Apollo Theater and all points in between. A debut CD from a Grammy-winning producer that hit the top of the Billboard charts.  Performing duets with childhood heroes Patti Labelle and Glenn Leonard, the former lead vocalist from The Temptations. An international television audience of over 100 million touched by his amazing life story. And it all started in a very small town with a man who possessed a big dream and an even bigger voice.

When Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. showed up to audition for NBC TV’s America’s Got Talent in 2010, he was singing to pass the time while grinding out a living washing cars in his hometown of Logan, WV (population 3,000) and the only “nice” clothes he owned were the ones on his back: a pair of jeans, a modest button down striped shirt and jacket.

Fortunately, you don’t need a slick wardrobe to win America’s heart. You need talent and personality, and Landau has a great deal of both. Wowing the judges with his back story of homelessness and determination to succeed for his family, coupled with interpretations of classics from Cole Porter, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and others, Landau walked away with the million dollar grand prize in front of 14 million weekly viewers. According to show insiders, when all was said and done, Landau had won America’s Got Talent by the biggest vote total in the show’s history.

Tennessee Teen Wins 1st $5,000 Kennetra Searcy Scholarship for Girls

Kennetra Searcy, Ms. Black USA and The Miss Black USA Organization is pleased to announce the selection of Carlisha Mckenzie of Chatanooga, Tennessee as the 1st Winner of the Kennetra Searcy Scholarship for Girls.  The $5,000 award is open to high school seniors throughout the U.S. Carlisha is a senior at the only all girls STEM school in Tennessee, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.  She has an intense passion for science and math.

Carlisha is the second oldest of three siblings.  She plans to major in Chemistry to become a forensic pathologist. She would like to become a forensic pathologist to make a difference by turning a tragedy into something positive, by saving lives and giving closure to families.

We wish to thank all of this year's applicants and wish them well as their pursue their academic pursuits.  Applications for 2018 will open on January 1st, 2018 at 7:00am EST.  

To date, the Miss Black USA Organization has awarded over $450,000 in scholarships and excited to partner with Kennetra Searcy to establish the Kennetra Searcy Scholarship for Girls.

Miss Black USA™ & Dr. Myla Bennett (Board Certified Plastic Surgeon) enter into a Major Partnership for the 2017 Pageant

Miss Black USA and the Preserve Your Pretty® Campaign will focus on increasing the self esteem of young women across the nation.

(March 13, 2017 - Atlanta, GA)  In March, 2017, board certified plastic surgeon, business coach, and professional empowerment speaker Dr. Myla Bennett  entered into a major partnership with the Miss Black USA™ pageant.  The partnership’s primary focus is to bring awareness to the “Preserve Your Pretty®” campaign by increasing national exposure to young women across the nation.  Miss Black USA™ will officially adopt the “Preserve Your Pretty®” campaign while educating women that being “Pretty” is not just a physical attribute.  Through this, we expect to raise the self-esteem of women across the nation.  In addition to the partnership, Dr. Myla Bennett  has also been selected to be an official celebrity judge for the annual Miss Black USA Pageant. Along with other celebrity judges, Dr. Myla Bennett will be judging the 2017 contestants from across the nation, whom will be competing for cash prizes, scholarships, and national recognition.   

Featured in Essence Magazine, Allure Magazine, BET, JET Magazine, The New York Times, The Root, The Tom Joyner Morning Show and more, Miss Black USA™ is a highly respected organization redefining what it means to be a courageous, compassionate and confident black woman in today’s society. The Miss Black USA™ Organization empowers women to use their voices to make a difference in society. As a women of prestige, beauty and power, Dr. Myla Bennett is a true reflection of Miss Black USA’s definition of today’s ultimate role model. “I am very excited to be a part of Miss Black USA 2017. I love that young black women have a unique opportunity to shine and proudly represent us.  I am also excited to educate women across the nation thru my “Preserve Your Pretty®” campaign.” explained Dr. Myla Bennett.

Defying all odds, Dr. Myla Bennett has become one of the most sought after female plastic surgeons on the east coast. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University Medical Center and has been featured in both national and international publications and networks including: JET Magazine, NBC, Black Enterprise, Bravo Television Network, Radio One, WEtv, and many more. Dr. Myla Bennett is the owner of Ederra Bella Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa®,and the founder of both the Preserve Your Pretty® and Preserve Your Handsome™ brands. She has had the opportunity to work with celebrity clients and influential clients throughout her career. “I was captivated by Dr. Myla’s Preserve Your Pretty™ campaign and see it as an additional layer of beauty storytelling.  Miss Black USA™ is the premier pageant for ‘women of color’.  The synergy between the two organizations made for an incredible opportunity to partner with Dr. Myla to embrace beauty with a sense of authentic individuality and fearlessness.  The partnership is the latest expression of the pageant’s passion and commitment to continue to break barriers on archaic standards of beauty and to help Black women of all ages feel confident and shine within.” stated by Karen Arrington, Founder & CEO of Miss Black USA™, Inc.

Miss Black USA will be held on August 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.missblackusa.org. For Media Inquiries for Dr. Myla Bennett contact PRTeam@epimediagroup.com.

About Dr. Myla Bennett

Business mogul, board certified plastic surgeon, and speaker Dr. Myla Bennett is the founder of Preserve Your Pretty® and has become one of the most sought after business coaches on the east coast. A graduate of The Ohio State University Medical Center, Dr Myla is the owner of Ederra Bella Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa®- a multi-million dollar plastic surgery center located in the upscale community of Johns Creek, Georgia. An advocate for women and passionate about safe plastic surgery practices, Dr.Myla is known for helping women preserve their youth in a natural "appearing" way and only performs natural "appearing" body contouring. It is her mission to educate women daily about the dangers of plastic surgery when done in unsafe environments. Featured in both national and international publications and networks including, Jet Magazine, Black Enterprise, Bravo Television Network and WETv Single and Living Fab,  Black America Web, NBC, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Radio One, and many more, Dr. Myla continues to build other women throughout the country teaching strategies on building a million dollar business.

A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Dr.Myla is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and is one of six children raised in a single parent home.  After completion of surgical training Dr. Myla accepted a position with Reid Hospital in Richmond, IN where she started the Allure Center for plastic surgery. After 3 years she opted to venture out on her own and start her own private practice in plastic surgery. Through the advancement of her company Dr. Myla has had the pleasure of working with some of the most well known figures in entertainment including Ashley Graham, Toni Braxton, Tamar Braxton, Towanda Braxton, Trina and Evelyn Braxton, Kenya Moore, Cynthia Bailey and many more. She has been featured on multiple TV Shows including Braxton Family Values, Married To Medicine and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

As a wife and mother Dr. Myla currently resides in Johns Creek,Georgia. Dr. Myla is currently accepting invitations to speak on panels, expo’s, seminars, and conferences. For all inquiries contact PRTeam@epimediagroup.com.

About Miss Black USA

The Miss Black USA Organization empowers women to use their voice, own their power, and redefines what it means to be a compassionate, confident and beautiful Black woman today.

Miss Black USA is the premier pageant for women of color ages 17 to 27 years.  Miss Black USA has awarded over $450,000 in scholarships to date to its participants.  Miss Black USA is currently accepting sponsorship proposals.  For inquiries contact Joelle Polisky at Joelle Polisky at jpolisky@goshiftkey.com

Miss Black USA + Nostalgia + Cuba's Old Havana

Miss Black USA is a global ambassador and role model for girls and women of color around the world.  The Motherland.  Europe.  South America.  Next...  Haute Havana.  Follow Tonille's journey to Havana de Cuba, where she will engage with the people of this vibrant Caribbean Island surrounded by rich colonial architecture and old classic cars. 

As some seek to put up walls, we're reminded of the power of the people in finding ways around them. Strong wills subvert the systems put in place to suppress. Information, truth, and compassion always find a way to be shared.

In Cuba, an impressive network of information and entertainment circulation has formed. Restricted from reliable web connectivity, the people have developed an elaborate web of USB drives filled with content. Physical passing of hardware has created a pseudo-Internet.

It's almost impossible to stop a united, passionate, and motivated group of people. From one person to the next, we're stronger when we share. We're stronger together.   

Win $5,000 Kennetra Searcy Scholarship for Girls

The Miss Black USA Organization is pleased to announce the Kennetra Searcy Scholarship for Girls.  The $5,000 award is open to high school seniors throughout the U.S.  You do not need to be a contestant in the Miss Black USA pageant system to be eligible.  Kennetra Searcy is a modern day shero!  She is an emerging business woman, wife, mother, certified personal trainer and the first ever Ms. Black USA.  The 27 year old beauty holds a Master's degree and is the ultimate role model.  We are proud to name this award in her honor.  

To date, Miss Black USA has awarded over $450,000 in scholarships.  For contest rules, click here.  To apply, click here.  

Deadline: March 1, 2017

 

Miss Black USA Partners with Dr. Myla

MISS BLACK USA ANNOUNCES MAJOR PARTNERSHIP WITH DR. MYLA AND HER "PRESERVE YOUR PRETTY" CAMPAIGN

Dr. Myla Bennett Powell, a plastic surgeon, beauty preservation strategist and founder of preserveyourpretty.com. Miss Black USA is proud to partner with Dr. Myla.  The winner of this year's 2017 Miss Black USA will become the "Official Spokesperson" for Dr. Myla's "Preserve Your Pretty" campaign.  Learn what "preserve your pretty" means to this year's contestants.