When Manassas resident Alexandria Hunter was crowned Miss Black USA Talented Teen in March, a dream of hers for over a decade was realized.
Hunter, now 18, recalled that her first pageant was in the Miss Black USA organization as a part of its “princess” program when she was 8.
“That pageant changed my whole life,” she added. “Being so young and getting to watch the excellence of the amazing women inspired me so greatly to achieve great things.”
The Miss Black USA organization celebrates the unique beauty and talents of young Black women. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s pageant was held virtually.
Hunter said she had to submit pre-recorded videos for the talent and athletic wear portions of the competition. In addition, she had to participate in a live question-and-answer session on Zoom, which served as the interview portion.
“Although it would have been wonderful to experience the national pageant in DC, I enjoyed how safe the online pageant was during the pandemic and that it did not interfere with my studies,” she added.
A Forest Park High School graduate who is now a rising sophomore at James Madison University, Hunter is pursuing a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance and opera. Her dream is to be an international opera singer.
“Many people are surprised to learn there are so many accomplished young women who compete in the Miss Black USA system,” Hunter said. “We are smashing stereotypes.”
She noted that in the Miss division, 80% of the titleholders are in graduate or professional school. “Miss Black Maryland is a physician, Miss Black DC is preparing to run for public office, and Miss Black Virginia holds a master’s degree in public relations.”
An avid vegan, Hunter shares her passion for healthy living as a spokesperson for the Black Vegan Experience, an educational and networking conference celebrating vegans and vegetarians of African-American descent.
“Already, being Miss Black USA Talented Teen has given me the opportunity to inspire people all over the United States and has given me a platform to share my journey with others,” she said.
Along with the title, Hunter received a $2,500 scholarship. “I love doing beauty pageants and I think it gives a wonderful opportunity to compete for scholarships, make industry connections, and help others,” she said.
“My family and friends were very happy for me because I won a national title representing our state of Virginia,” Hunter added. “I was overwhelmed with love and support, and I could not be happier.”