Ole Miss crowns first African-American homecoming queen - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Ole Miss crowns first African-American homecoming queen

Action New 5’s very own Kym Clark being crowned in 1983 at The University of Georgia. Action New 5’s very own Kym Clark being crowned in 1983 at The University of Georgia.
Kym Clark was the African-American to be crowned Miss University of Georgia in 1983. Kym Clark was the African-American to be crowned Miss University of Georgia in 1983.
Homecoming queen Courtney Pearson. Homecoming queen Courtney Pearson.

(WMC-TV) – Action News 5's very own Kym Clark remembers the shock when she was crowned Miss University of Georgia in 1983.

It was even more of a shock when she learned she was, at that time, the only black woman to ever earn that title.

That was many years ago, but this weekend there's another big first and it's on the Ole Miss campus.

Courtney Pearson from Bartlett, TN is a senior at the University of Mississippi and tomorrow she will be crowned homecoming queen.

"We do have a typical tradition in that, that person is usually Greek, and that person is usually white - but, I think we're kind of going away from that and really trying to look at what that person has done for the university, on what they've been involved in, what they're grades are looking like, things like that," said Pearson .

This secondary English education major is certainly involved. Some of the activities include Student Government, University Judicial Chair, Ole Miss Ambassadors and Freshman Orientation Liaison. Pearson said being the university's first African-American homecoming queen wasn't something she campaigned on.

However, she was aware there had never been one before.

"And I feel like it's an inspiration for others to be like, there's nothing that can hold me back, not my race, not my greekness, or my non-greekness - whatever it is that I want to do, I can do it," said Pearson.

Pearson said that 50 years ago she wouldn't have been allowed to even attend the university.

"Now the students are saying ‘Not only do we want you to attend, we want you to represent us at a whole and go and show the whole world what we're about and what we represent," said Pearson.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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