Just 50 years after ending its notorious segregation policy, Ole Miss finally has a black homecoming queen. The school just crowned Courtney Roxanne Pearson as their queen, with the student receiving the crowning during the halftime ceremonies of the Ole Miss-Auburn football game.
“I am still in shock, but I am definitely very excited,” said Pearson. She defeated the runner-up Ashleigh Davis, 1,477 to 1,387 in a very close race.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Pearson, who won her crown on the 50 anniversary of the admission of James Meredith, the first African American to ever attend the institution. Meredith’s presence on campus led to riots.
“Ole Miss, get ready. We just changed the face,” Pearson said.
Pearson didn’t expect to win the competition, but was thrilled to find out that she did. Her father, Commander Kerri Pearson, escorted her onto the field to receive her crown.
“We do have a typical tradition in that, that person is usually Greek, and that person is usually white,” Pearson said. ”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.”