Press Releases


Washington D.C., August 13th, 2018- Kelsi Horn wins the title of Miss Black USA 2018.  

Kelsi is a Detroit native and graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising & Public Relations. She is an activist, entrepreneur, and advocate for mental health. Kelsi is currently the owner of a luxury event planning company. While at MSU, she served as President of The Black Student Alliance. There she worked directly with the administration to improve retention rates among African American students and bring awareness to sexual assault on campus.

Kelsi is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and local mentoring organizations in her community.

The pageant, a week-long event kicked off on the 8th of August and culminated with the crowning of (Last Name) on August 13th.  The event was live streamed as contestants opened with an upbeat dance number choreographed by the reigning Miss Black USA and professional ballerina Daphne Lee.  Contestants were judged in Evening Gown, On-Stage Interview, Talent and Personal Fitness. 

1st Runner-Up -   Alabama- Kelli Abernathy

2nd Runner-Up -  New Jersey - Tarah Saint-Elien

3rd Runner-Up -  Texas - JoAnn Emale

4th Runner-Up -  Nevada - Itohan Osayaren 

About Miss Black USA

The Miss Black USA pageant is the premier pageant for women of color.  The non-profit organization was founded in 1986 seeking to provide educational opportunities to outstanding young African American women and to develop the whole woman, mind, body, and spirit. To date, the pageant has awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships.  Miss Black USA, Daphne Lee is available for appearances and media interviews. Clippings of the crowning of Miss Black USA are also available.  Please contact Leon Valentine at or via phone at (615) 516-0358.





August 9, 2017 – WASHINGTON D.C.

We would like for you to join us this year as we celebrate what it means to be a black woman today at this year’s Miss Black USA competition.  Contestants from across the country will converge in the District of Columbia for this year’s Miss Black USA competition.

Miss Black USA celebrates the unique traits, talent, and beauty of today’s Black woman and empowers her to own her power, mind, body, and spirit.  Defying negative stereotypes, eighty percent of this year’s contestants are in graduate or professional school.  The Maryland representative, Siadiah Grimes is a practicing attorney.  

The reigning Miss Black USA Tonille Watkis, represented Connecticut on the national stage last year.  Watkis’ platform during her reign “No Boxes Allowed” is aimed at debunking stereotypes through surrounding black womanhood.  Watkis also serves as a celebrity advocate for the Heart Truth campaign to raise awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.  

Sitting in the hot seat to Judge this year’s competition is Stevie Baggs Jr., former NFL athlete and recently starred as the Bachelor on WE-TVs Match Made in Heaven; Dr. Myla Bennett, owner of Ederra Bella Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa®, and the founder of both the Preserve Your Pretty® and Ocielia Gibson, former Miss Black USA, Christian Author and Motivational Speaker.  The show co-hosts are Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., Winner of America’s Got Talent and Actress and former Miss Black USA Osas Ighodaro-Ajibade.

The winner will receive a $20,000 prize package including a $5,000 academic scholarship and have opportunities to travel the world serving as an ambassador for women of color everywhere.  This year’s pageant is sponsored by Liliana Footwear, Dr. Myla Bennett, Founder of “Preserve Your Pretty” campaign, Lamik Cosmetics, Z.O. Skin Health, ORS Olive Oil, Black Public Relations Society, Washington Afro and shOO Nail Polish.

To secure your media credentials apply online at or email Brittanie Brooks at or Joelle Polisky at for more information.

Following is a list of the preliminary and finals night events.

Here is a lineup of the competitions:

8/19 - Talent + On Stage Question & Answer Preliminary Competition

UDC Theater of the Arts
4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Time: 12:00noon

8/19 - Personal Fitness & Evening Gown Preliminary Competition
UDC Theater of the Arts
4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Time: 5:00pm

8/20 - Miss Black USA Pageant Finals Live
UDC Theater of the Arts
4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Time: 5:00pm

To learn more, visit