The 2nd Black Miss USA in a Row Was Just Crowned

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 14:  Miss District of Columbia USA 2017 Kara McCullough (C) is surrounded by fellow contestants after she was crowned Miss USA 2017 during the 2017 Miss USA pageant at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The 2nd Black Miss USA in a Row Was Just Crowned

Here's what you need to know about Kara McCullough.

Published May 15, 2017

Last night (May 14), the world watched as Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber, graciously handed over her crown to this year’s winner, Kára McCullough. The 25-year-old beauty queen already has people talking. Find out where she stands on important issues like health care to fun facts like her shero.

Here's What You Need to Know:

  1. She Has Italian Roots

    Kára, who represented the District of Columbia in the Miss USA pageant, was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her predecessor, Deshauna Barber, also represented for the District of Columbia.

    A post shared by Kára McCullough (@missdcusa) on

  2. She's a Nuclear Scientist

    Kára is a physical scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has a degree in chemistry and concentration in radio chemistry from South Carolina State University, where she was a member of the school's Honors College, the American Chemical Society, the Health Physics Society, the American Association of Blacks in Engineering and the American Nuclear Society. According to The Times & Democrat, she's also a member of the Alpha Nu Sigma Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honour Society and the National Society of Black Engineers. Sheesh — talk about an overachiever!

    A post shared by Kára McCullough (@missdcusa) on

  3. Her Views on Health care Are Controversial

    When Kára was asked during Sunday night's pageant whether she thinks that affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege, she answered privilege. "As a government employee, I'm granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs," she explained. Let’s just say, this did not sit well with a lot of folks.

  4. She's an 'Equalist,' Not a Feminist

    Later on in the night, Kára was also asked what she considers feminism to be and whether she considers herself a feminist. Her answer was interesting, to say the least. In short, she likes to "transpose" the word feminism to "equalism." Hmmph…

    A post shared by Kára McCullough (@missdcusa) on

  5. Sanaa Lathan Is Her Role Model

    She loves her some Sanaa Lathan, but then again who doesn’t? However, she loves her so much so that she called the actress her role model on Instagram. Here they both are at a private viewing of Sanaa’s new show, Fox’s Shots Fired.

    A post shared by Kára McCullough (@missdcusa) on

  6. She Went Au Naturel For The Pageant

    Instead of wearing her hair silky smooth like many of the other contestants, Kára wore hers natural for the competition. "When I choose to wear my hair curly, I was afraid," she said. "I didn’t know if people were going to accept it...if anyone was going to be receptive to it at all."

  7. She's a Baller

    Although there’s no talent portion in the Miss USA pageant, we found out Kára has some pretty sick basketball skills. Watch her toss her heels off in this school yard basketball court and land this layup.

    A post shared by Kára McCullough (@missdcusa) on

Written by Jazmine A. Orrtiz

(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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