The legacy truly will continue in 2013!! On Dec. 1, seven outstanding young women graced the University Center Auditorium stage on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the Miss Black Tennessee USA pageant: Megan Piphus - “Miss Black Capital City USA 2013,” Kayla Moore - “Miss Black Davidson County USA 2013,” Gabrielle Lewis - “Miss Black Memphis USA 2013,” Porshal Reid - “Miss Black Metropolitan USA 2013,” Katara Grissom - “Miss Black Music City USA 2013,” Ariel Smith - “Miss Black Nashville USA 2013,” and Montrice Hampton - “Miss Black Shelby County USA 2013.”
Sam Terry of Glory 1260 AM’s “WNOO” and LaTrice Currie-Tucker of WRCB Channel 3 were hosts and emcees of the pageant. Special guest and judge for the evening was R&B artist and radio host Winston Warrior.
The new Miss Black Tennessee USA 2013 is Megan Olivia Piphus (Miss Black Capital City USA 2013). Piphus has served her community by performing, singing, and playing at various community functions and around the country. In 2008, she was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show episode “The World’s Smartest and Most Talented Kids.”
Piphus graduated valedictorian of her class at Princeton High School in 2010. Her graduation speech featuring her and her puppet, George, became a hit on YouTube soon after its release. Currently a junior at Vanderbilt University, she was part of the Vanderbilt Policy Debate Squad. Piphus worked as a reporter for Vanderbilt Television and had the opportunity to work as a field reporter for ESPNU.
In 2011, after submitting a video showcasing her talent in musical ventriloquism, Piphus was chosen to be a contestant on America’s Got Talent YouTube Contest and as a result gained national exposure. A leader, she sits on the executive boards for the Black Student Alliance the National Black MBA Association, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. This past summer, the new Miss Black Tennessee USA interned for NBCUniversal with the Spanish broadcasting network Telemundo in New York City.
Five outstanding women were honored on the evening for all of their hard work and dedication to their respective communities: Iyonia Boyce - “Honorary Miss Black Tennessee Pre-Teen USA,” Nicole Brown - “Sarah J. Woodson-Early Award,” Faith Edwards “Ida B. Wells Award,” Carolyn Jones - “Madame C.J. Walker Award,” Angel Ulmer - “Carolyn R. Patton Award,” and Dr. Elenora Woods - “Harriet Tubman Award.”
The young ladies competed in the areas of interview, fitness, talent, evening gown, and on-stage question-and-answer.
“All seven of the queens this year represented the state to perfection,” said Lorean Mays, executive director.
Special Awards for the evening went to all three representatives from UTC:
— Ariel Smith - “Miss Black Nashville USA 2013.” The Marketing Star Award was presented to the contestant who marketed, promoted, and sold the most of her Lip Palette Collection.
— Kayla Moore - “Miss Black Davidson County USA 2013.” The Shining Star Award was presented to the contestant who sold the most ads.
— Montrice Hampton - “Miss Black Shelby Country USA 2013.” The People’s Choice “Heart of Tennessee” Award was presented to the contestant who received the highest number of votes during the online “People’s Choice” voting campaign.
The Top four contestants of the evening were Ariel Smith, “Miss Black Nashville USA 2013,” Porshal Reid, “Miss Black Metropolitan USA 2013,” and Katara Grissom, “Miss Black Music City USA 2013.”
The night was brought to a close with the official farewell to Miss Black Tennessee USA 2012, Natalie Newbill.
“I am so thankful and appreciative to everyone across the state and in my hometown, Chattanooga, who have been supportive throughout this past year and shown all of the young ladies nothing but love,” Mays said. “I also thank Ms. Karen Arrington CEO/founder of the Miss Black USA Pageant for this wonderful opportunity to serve as the state executive director.”
Follow on Facebook: Miss Black Tennessee USA/Miss Black Tennessee Talented Teen USA; and Twitter: @MissBlackTN.
For more information, visit www.missblacktennesseeusa.org or email Lorean.Mays@missblackusa.org.