University of Texas senior Rachael Malonson entered the Miss Black UT scholarship pageant as "a nice and light-hearted way to end [her] time as a student." The controversy that's broken out as a result of her win, however, has been anything but light-hearted.
Malonson, who is of mixed heritage, has been called out by critics for being not "Black enough" and therefore, in their eyes, not deserving of the crown. This treatment is nothing new to her.
“Growing up, I've constantly [been] questioned as to if I was Black enough or even Black — I have fairly straight hair and an olive skin tone that people don't usually think fits the 'look' of a Black or biracial woman,” Malonson said.
In fact, the platform she ran on for the pageant was called “Voice to the Voiceless,” which “emphasized the importance for increasing diversity in the media to specifically help stories of people of color to be more accurately and objectively told.” The irony is not lost on us.
She's not swayed by her haters, and her message is as strong as ever: “I hope their eyes can be opened to know that we come in all different shades and don't have to look a certain way to be Black … I am humbly honored to have already been able to impact people all around the world by standing up for who I am as a biracial Black woman.”
During these divisive times, it's more important than ever to stick together and uplift one another. There's more to Blackness than what meets the eye, folks.
(Photo: UT NABJ via Twitter)
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