Saturday, March 24, 2007

Another Sistah Wins Miss USA

Rachel Smith just completed a volunteer stint at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

The 21 year old magna cum laude Belmont University journalism graduate has another commitment she just picked up. Congratulations to Miss Tennessee Rachel Renee Smith, who was crowned Miss USA 2007 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles last night.

The statuesque 5'11" beauty was born in Panama and grew up in Clarksville, TN after her military parents were transferred to Fort Campbell. She interned at Oprah's Harpo Productions in Chicago for eight months last summer and was managing editor of Belmont's student newspaper prior to making the trip to South Africa.

She becomes just the fourth African-American to win the Miss USA title after Carole Gist, Kenya Moore and Shauntay Hinton. She will represent our country May 29 at the Miss Universe Pageant in Mexico City and attempt to end a ten year USA victory drought. The last Miss USA to win Miss Universe was Hawaii's Brook Lee in 1997.

No African-American has ever won the Miss Universe pageant. Coincidentally this will mark the 30th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago's Janelle Commissiong's breakthrough Miss Universe win when she became the first woman of African descent to win the title in 1977.

Here's hoping that Rachel makes some history of her own a few weeks from now.

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