.
October 24th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

Black homecoming queen breaks barriers at Ole Miss

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – On a September day this year, Courtney Pearson stood anxiously on the steps of the Lyceum, the famed old Greek Revival building on the University of Mississippi campus.

There, she learned she was elected homecoming queen. There, she stood as the first black woman to hold that title at Ole Miss.

Five decades before, James Meredith had entered the Lyceum as the university's first black student. He risked his life as he walked inside, his admission a milestone in the struggle for integration that sparked deadly riots on campus.

As anniversary observances of that pivotal day came to a close on the Oxford campus, Pearson, 21, took her place as queen. She had met Meredith just a few days before. He told her he was proud.

If it weren't for him, she would not even be a student at Ole Miss, Pearson thought.

If she did not accomplish anything else in life, she would be satisfied: She had made a civil rights icon proud.

"We unfortunately cannot change a dark and difficult past," she said. "But we can absolutely change the future."

Pearson seems well on her way to doing just that.

"Ole Miss, get ready," she told reporters after beating opponent Ashleigh Davis by 90 votes in a runoff. "We just changed the face."

It wasn't just her race that makes Pearson stand out among those who wore the crown in the past. She's not blonde, not a size 2 and she does not belong to a sorority, from which many past queens have hailed.

Pearson acknowledged she is an unconventional queen.

As a child, she looked at a magazine photo of a large, black woman who had been crowned homecoming queen at another school. The son of a family friend wondered aloud how in the world this woman had won the title, Pearson told Ole Miss News.

He told her: "Maybe your grades will get you somewhere one day, because your looks sure won't."

That was the motivation that Pearson needed.

"Be proud of who you are," she said, exuding the confidence befitting a role model.

Her photo was carried by several news outlets, including DailyVenusDiva, a website for "curvy, plus-size divas."

Pearson grew up the daughter of a Navy officer who moved around a lot but spent a chunk of her time in Memphis, Tennessee. She picked Ole Miss because that's where her parents went and she plans to graduate in May with a degree in secondary English education.

She served in other leadership roles on campus, as an orientation leader and university ambassador who helped recruit students. Her friends encouraged her to run for homecoming queen. They told her she was a good candidate; she thought it would be fun.

She said race had little to do with her victory but once she won, she realized she had made history.

"That was amazing," she said.

It's a title that humbled her and brought her to tears.

Then, at halftime on October 13, Pearson walked out onto the football field, escorted by her father in his U.S. Navy uniform. She was resplendent in a tradition-mandated white gown and a sparkling tiara.

It was a moment that was unimaginable 50 years ago.

The spotlight was on Pearson but she thanked her fellow students.

"Don't applaud me," she said. "Applaud them. Look at how progressive they are."

Posted by
Filed under: Black in America • History • How we look • Race • Women
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. John Van den Berg

    I think she's Hot !

    May 18, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rufus

    Congrats! They got it right.

    January 12, 2013 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. DH

    John you are correct. CNN deleted my first post on this. I know people at Ole Miss. They voted for her only as a joke. A mean and cruel one but that is what they did. The PC police and apologists that took the Rebel nickname away are who started this. Censoring and deleting facts doesn't change anything. She may be a great person and one who doesn't deserve this but it is what it is.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sharonica

    They're making fun of her and all who agree with this masquerade of 'look at us, we're not racist anymore' crap. They picked the fattiest, one they could find, who isn't smart enough to know she's being degraded. I wish her mind was a beautiful as her face to know the people in Mississippi who appointed you are not interested in her real beauty. They are only interested in the attention they get for appointing a fat black woman as the first homecoming queen. Get with the times Mississippi. I'm happy that a barrier has been broken, but for the wrong reasons.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Also, CNN don't think I didn't notice that you edited my original comment.

    December 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stillhating

    Just because she doesn't fit the standard description you feel is beauty doesn't mean she isn't beautiful and even if she isn't, what's it to you? Are you a beauty queen? Is everyone in your family fit to be a runway model? I can't believe that after all of the people that have taken their own lives due to bullying, people still feel the need to try to dog someone out. Stop the bullying. This girl is still a child because she is a college student, this means she is still impressionable. I know it doesn't matter to some of you and would only be looked at as one down and many more to go. If she were white would you be disrespecting her in this manner? It sickens me that people are so quick to try to tear someone down instead of lending a hand to help someone up. At least she is furthering her education which is probably something half of you have never done and never will.

    December 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joycie Girl

    John, you are an embarrassment to the human race. Go back into your cave.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    John, you are a sad, pathetic excuse of a man.

    December 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. josh rogen

    it's interesting that in these comments people care more about her weight then her race, maybe the focus of the story should of been on that?

    December 2, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
    • josh rogen

      also the fact that in the 21st century they are still picking something as gender exclusive as homecoming queens is disturbing

      December 2, 2012 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Large and in Charge

    I think the girl is very pretty. She's larger than a runway model, certainly, but still very attractive in a voluptuous, Rubenesque way. I'm a middle aged married mother, btw. I think there are 101 different ways a young lady her age can be pretty, and so, congratulations to her. She obviously also has a sunny disposition and is well spoken, which do play a role in personality contests and pageants.

    As to all the other comments on here, I'm baffled. Is it because she's black? It's because she's black, isn't it?

    December 2, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      BTW, I'm neither full figured myself, nor black or white. I have no dog in what I perceive to be a fight between the achievement of a full-figured young black woman and the anonymous masses attacking her in the comments. I think the masses are bitter unemployed racist white men who are conflating the crowning with what they feel is the loss of their grip on the economic and political power structure of America. It's just a homecoming, fellas! Can't you be nice to a black girl for once in your miserable life and offer up some congratulations?

      December 2, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mr. Charlie

    This is just plain silly. It is not customery that the home coming queen be a looker?

    December 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. carlwesleyclark

    This has to be a joke. They are going to pour pigs blood on her or something.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. King Martin Luther

    Obviously a very small "talent" pool.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. everyone_can_be_aCEO

    isnt this the same school that just 2 weeks ago had a riot cause Obama won? THis was purely for 'face'.Ol miss wants to show that they arent really a bunch of hillbillies and plantation woners,or students with ties to racist families

    December 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Uncle B

    Some of you still think all Black People are stupid.. No disrespect to the young lady, the white student body that elected her is making a joke on her.
    Notice how she looks like Hattie McDaniel in Gone With The Wind. Same campus that protested President Obama's re-election

    December 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  16. The American

    she looks like Mark Henry from WWE.

    November 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  17. jbcal

    Maybe those thin girls that you prefer didn't run for homecoming queen.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    My overall feelings exactly.

    November 24, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  19. sisj8

    You wouldn't know beauty if it slapped you obviously...

    November 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  20. GBear

    Clearly a comment from someone who has never attended anyone's college, university, or probably even tech school. A person wins as homecoming queen by a popular vote by the peers of the campus, not by a panel of judges who vote on who's cute and who's not. So, Tyra, Miss J. and Mr. Jay were not there genius.

    November 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • joseph

      the students at the places you mention who actually care about learning and intellectual pursuits, do in fact have such little interest in homecoming activities that their ignorance of the rules regarding them is to be expected.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  21. Q

    It's wonderful to see these young people were smart enough to look beyond skin color or a dress size to choose this vivacious young lady to represent their school. Congratulations, Courtney!

    I'm a black woman who grew up in Mississippi during the 1960s. Every time I go back to visit, I see changes. Some good, some uncomfortable. There's still room for growth, but this gives me hope that it can happen.

    November 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  22. D Carew

    The Land of the free America. I am shocked with the comments but from my experience travelling the wqorld anywhere you go there are the goodf and bad people.
    Congratulation to the young lady enjoy the moment

    November 4, 2012 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  23. Tameekah Washington

    More racism is perpatrated on African Americans in Mississippi then any other state. The state and local governments are overtly racist to this day.Reparation payments are warranted to pay for this gross injustice on African American US citizens!!!
    Only when the black race stands together to get the good ole' boys out and vote representatives of our own race in to look after our legal rights, and to finally remove the gross injustices that these racists still use to keep us under their feet. When we do stand together as one we will remember what you have done to our children and we will take action to stop it forever.

    November 4, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • sambo

      you did get them out. The problem is the guy that is in the WH has no idea about how to run his own household let alone this great Country. you can tell he lived in Chicago cuz human life means nothing to him

      December 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Opinionated like everyone else here

    Oh...and congratulations to the young lady that won Homecoming Queen.

    November 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DCPam

      I was thinking...what took so long?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  25. edward

    The article is wrong. There is NO Democrat who is white.....they just look that way sometimes.

    November 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  26. DCvoter

    Its Mississippi. Everyone is fat there. White or Black.

    November 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Kevin Park

    But, that doesn't mean that all minorities should shun the GOP. Well-to-do minorities may actually like the GOP :D

    November 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • b4bigbang

      Colin Powell too.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Mark

    I think it's great that the students voted for her to be the first black homecoming queen, but the university needs to bring back Col. Reb as their official mascot. The Old South and the New South should be allowed to co-exist peacefully at the University of Ole Miss.

    November 3, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  29. Logan

    Over 98% of blacks voted for Obama and we expect the same this time. Only because he is HALF black. The racists? Yeah I know them, they all live in the inner cities and have dark skin. REALITY!!!

    November 3, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • volosgirl

      You got that right. Vote for the person for the color of their skin. What a country. It's sad.

      November 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • dcsilhouettes

      Logan,

      How do you explain the lack of Black support for Herman Cain and Allen West?

      November 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Logan

    First off, you need to be fired and investigated. You "claim"to be an HR Director, but if you were, you would know that the DoL requires you to submit reporting on any job applicants not approved if they happen to black – NOT white! The amount of money corporations spend on frivolous lawsuits for inept new black employees is insane.
    You can pull the BS, "but there are lazy/doped whites too" BS but the reality is black Americans.

    November 3, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbi

      Your heart is depraved. I hope your heart softens and finds God before you die from the bile that is boiling inside of you. To see black humans as you do is so reptilian. I don't want to "hate" people, even those who have offended or hurt me. It is not the way to Christ. I want to be good, think good things and above all, follow in Christ's footsteps, which means to be kind and loving. Your character is such that you will find a way to hate no matter what. You are wired that way which is so so so so sad. You won't win in this world and you won't have a place in God's Kingdom.

      November 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. equaljusticela

    its one thing to be fat on the out side, but another thing to look slim, and look good on the inside and that what her a queen, and by the way i don't know what you look like, but your comment show tell what your inside look like.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logan

      And your inability to use grammar show what you look like. (sp)

      November 3, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  32. caramelpipe

    just congratulate Courtney She is a beautiful Intelligent young Lady whether she meets your physical qualifications or not

    November 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Tatianna Peyton

    People are mean and everybody is beautiful in there own way. Why cant white people n black people be happy together or don't judge another. I plan on begin the first BLACK african american PRESIDENT

    November 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Kim, Mississippi Native

    I think a lot of the comments on here are just horrible and mean, this is a beautiful and smart young woman with a wonderful future ahead of her. You all are ripping her for being overweight and too dark skinned, saying she only won because of the black vote and because the white vote was split. I am telling you that people do not realize just how much the culture of this state has changed and progressed. It is not the same state as my grandparents or my parents, it is not even the same as what I grew up as a child in the 70's and 80's.

    If this was your child how would you feel about someone posting these comments? This is someones daughter, I hope to God that you never have to read and comments like this about your own child. God bless this girl, she is beautiful.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Park

      That's a beautiful and thoughtful post, Kim. :)

      November 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura K.

      God bless you. =)

      November 5, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Donny

      The absolute Truth...

      African American Male.

      November 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Joe the Plumber

    Congratulations! She really has done great things. First, her role in the movie, "Precious", now this. Nice job!

    November 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      Hey, Joe. People like you need to 1) not breed, and 2) die. Our great nation would be a better place for it after such a cleansing. I'm hoping my prayers will be answered by the time my kid is grown.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  36. Bigmama

    Got to hand it to George Wallace...he did the best he could...

    November 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Rachel

    Funny but true. Never thought of it that way. So just let the racist people run their mouths (or fingers in this case). The world will change no matter what and they can either jump on the wagon or stay in the past with their white sheets still blurring their vision.

    November 2, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  38. Rachel

    "Pearson walked out onto the football field, escorted by her father in his U.S. Navy uniform."
    That must have been beautiful. It almost made me cry.

    "She was resplendent in a tradition-mandated white gown and a sparkling tiara"
    That could have been really beautiful if she weighed at least 60 – 100 pounds less. At her age, she seriously needs lose some weight before she gets a heart attack!

    November 2, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • jbcal

      Right, because thin people don't have heart attacks.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Rachel

    "Maybe your grades will get you somewhere one day, because your looks sure won't."
    Probably the best thing anyone ever said to her. She learned not to rely on her looks, but rather her brains. Wish many other people would do the same and just not expect to get ahead based on looks.

    November 2, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  40. David Duke Jr

    This shows black hatred towards whites. Blacks all voted for her. The white vote was divided.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Lady

      If she was Irish, and all the Irish-Americans voted for her would you call that racist?? Or if she was Italian American and all the Italian students voted for her? Gee, are blacks not allowed to support each other?

      November 2, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
      • rufus

        Sure, blacks can support her just as 97% of the blacks supported da Prez. But it is still based on racism. Admit it.

        November 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  41. JohnC

    You do not need the homecoming king for the mere fact it looks like she ate him.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  42. Chappy

    She voted for Obama. Twice.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  43. Daysha

    After scrolling through some of the comments, I have to say that it is very sad that an human being who has right to judge anyone degrade, put-down, and make awful comments about someone who they don't even know. Just because of her weight, looks, and build grown folks want to poke and make fun of her when they should be congratualating her on this milestone in history. I think it is really sick the way people based their opinions on society views of how the world should look or who is the staple to fit in a certain image.

    November 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chappy

      A sad moment in history. She's the first FAT (fat...not phat) homecoming queen at Ole Miss.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Logan

      What's the milestone??? It has been a black majority university for very many years. CNN just loves to have a race bait topic every day.

      November 3, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      I don't understand why everyone is being so mean to a college kid who won at homecoming. She's a college kid! the vitriol is really amazing. The only way I can explain it is racism. She isn't even that bad looking, either.

      December 2, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  44. MasterWooten

    http://southernnationalist.com/blog/2012/10/15/ole-miss-selects-obese-black-woman-as-homecoming-queen/

    Now politics and views aside, given the two choices featured in that link, can you honestly suggest that the Ole Miss Prom Queen was picked for reasons other than political correctness?

    I mean c'mon! The choice they made looks like something SNL would spoof!! HA HA HA HA

    November 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Repeating History

    This is great! Finally "Ole Miss" Mississippi has a black home coming queen. You know, if this civil rights thing keeps progressing we may end up with a black president.

    wait a minute....

    November 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Eichmann

    CONGRATS to her. But admitt it, she till looks like the Bride of Kong.

    November 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon, IL

      I guess it's no coinsidence that your name is Eichmann you Nazi racist. Of course since your comment sounds like it came from the 1940s, maybe you actually are Eichmann reincarnated or something.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Logan

        and this she isn't a bride of kong since you used the soooooooooo boring "nazi" equation?

        November 3, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • pattysboi

      I think that she is LOVELY. Grow UP and get a life.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Lady

      Just think that Prince Charles ignored Diana and wanted Camilla. We got some white kongs out there too.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about in my other comment. Now, why would anyone say something so mean about a college homecoming queen? It's because Eichmann sees this girl, and he sees racial diversity, a black president, white men losing majority power, maybe never regaining it...he can't come out and say all this, so it comes out as: "...burble burble burble...wife of Kong." Eichmann, rant and rave all you want in front of your PC, your breed will die out...you can't stop progress!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  47. Jorge

    Mississippi has a LOT more to worry about, as far as education than the color and build of a homecoming queen. A WHOLE LOT...

    November 1, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  48. contact lenses

    I don't even understand how I ended up here, but I believed this put up was once great. I don't realize who you might be however definitely you are going to a famous blogger should you are not already. Cheers!

    October 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Anna Claire

    You people are shameful. Just because she's not the size you perfer doesn't mean she's not beautiful. I'm from Mississippi and I attend Ole Miss has always been mostly full of whites. Yes I'm white, and I'm glad its more diverse now. She deserved this crown. She's a very sweet girl. I see racism is still alive.. Guess people just hide it a little better. Disgusting

    October 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chappy

      She isn't beautiful. She is lucky her name is Courtney and not Shaniqua.

      November 2, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  50. Born here

    President Obama is traditionally viewed as an African American because of his father’s heritage in Kenya. However, while researching his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, Ancestry.com genealogists found her to have African heritage as well. Their interest piqued, the researchers kept digging. DNA analysis helped confirm that Dunham’s ancestors, known as white landowners in Colonial Virginia, actually descended from an African man. Existing records suggest that this man, John Punch, had children with a white woman who then passed her free status on to their offspring. Some of Punch’s descendants went on to be free, successful land owners in a Virginia entrenched in slavery.

    In related news, Ancestry.com claims that they have learned that OBama is directly decendant from Jesus Christ and Moses, and posseses both Hebrew and God DNA. The race card was not discovered in Barack`s DNA, they said. Great news. This will be the first time that GOD DNA has lost an election.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • danita

      Um anyone with a brain wouldn't need DNA to inform that a light skined black person is mixed and anyone with a brain sees a person that is not pale white they are mixed as well. Like it or not. Black people are black, and white people are white... It's no different than seeing a white looking or light skin Indian... (Mixed) I am a person who is thankful to God my skin is not white or black... Thank God... I also don't know why blacks need white people approvals... Education is the only thing to worry about because if you become smart and education you'll find your own don't like so much either...

      November 2, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  51. Jorge

    Dear God almighty, please save this country, the U.S. from the epidemic of shallow stupidity that has befallen it, forgive those who have taken it down the path of superficiality, pettiness and illusion, and bring back the spirit of intelligence, tolerance and productive thinking that it's founding fathers intended for it.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Born here

      After President Mitt Romney eliminates the Federal Department of (re)Education, your prayers will begin to be answered.

      October 30, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Jorge

        And leave public education run amok to the state and county good-ole'-boys, backwoods shucksters and test score-padding shysters? Who should we let oversee the state boards and districts then?? A Boss Hogg, George Jefferson or an Elmer Gantry????

        November 1, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  52. Navy Scorpion

    Yawn. Let me know when they elect a Drag Queen as homecoming queen. Now THAT will be news!

    October 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  53. jasper

    She's the size of a buffalo, a huge beast

    October 29, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      I don't think she's any bigger than Anna Nicole Smith, who I also think was attractive in her own way. You're just a nasty bigoted person, picking on a young college girl. Shame on you!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  54. Cassie, CT

    He point of the story is that she is the first black woman to be home coming queen. Why nor just say CONGRATS? Why are folk so afraid to discuss race and take it as a personal attack? This country had slaves, oppressed blacks, there are racists, ppl are prejudiced, whether it be color, in this case, being overweight, short, tall, national origin. Discussing race relations seems to be a very sensitive topic. And I'm not talking about the black folk u HAVE to deal with.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Being homecoming queen has absolutely nothing to do with race. People who are trying to make what should be a fun and frivolous event into some kind of racial victory, have very, very shallow lives. However the girl who was elected should have taken the high road and discouraged the so called race relations victory. Until everyone, both black and white, let go of the past and work towards unity, there will never be "We The People".

      November 3, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  55. Holy Cow

    How is obesity something to applaud?

    October 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cassie, CT

      Just because she's overweight does not mean she is unhealthy. Just bcuz she is overweight, can she not be smart? Should she hide because of her weight? I applaud her confidence and courage. She is an inspiration to all who do not fit the stereotype of what a beauty queen should be.

      October 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  56. kristina

    thats because we all now what it is like to be white in america just go outside

    October 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  57. memestryker

    How pleasant that the students broke away from voting for the usual superficial attributes and selected someone who values and respects herself as she is. Congratulations, Ms. Pearson, for being a role model for people of all ethnicities and genders. Wishing you all the best in life.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  58. berto

    Good story, this young lady seems to have great character congrats to her!
    Its sad that people here negatively judge somebody else without even knowing them. Its just completely unhuman and disgusting you should be ashamed of your self's. Like another poster said if it's not nice keep it to yourself.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  59. Rational

    Because this is entirely relevant to every single racial group, to actually promote multiculturalism wouldn't it be better to not mention these things and act like its normal?

    October 25, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • rorino

      You don't think it's abnormal that black students have been there for five decades but there's never been a black homecoming queen? The lack of historical precedent makes this a story.

      October 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  60. kamarasune

    She has a great smile. You can't help but smile back in response. Good for you hun and I wish you all the best that life has to offer :).

    October 25, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Eyekantspeil

      "The best that life has to offer"....why? She would just eat it too!

      October 25, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  61. efani

    Who cares? This kinda stuff reminds me how racist this country still is.it should be normal to vote a black homecoming queen

    October 24, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • kristina

      yes it should be normal but the fact that there has not been a black homecoming queen is the problem

      October 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Daniel Craig

    If your already insecure to some degree of course you put her or anyone else down. It'll make you feel better putting someone else down. I'm sorry you put down instead of uplift.

    October 24, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Humans

    Can you be any more tactless, any of you? Here is a girl who, in her article, stated that she was NOT like other girls, that all she needed was motivation, and here some people are going on about her 'fat', and her 'ugliness.' Who CARES? Not her! She's proud, confident, and she looks pure happy to be there. Whatever race I am, it makes me happy to see a girl who, if not shining in outer beauty, glows with the inner beauty.
    I hope you inspire girls in the future!

    October 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  64. CSX

    We glorify in all counter culture things. Never glory in what America is all about.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • kristina

      this is what America is about its about diversity

      October 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • tessaprn

        I must disagree, America is not about diversity. America is about a melting pot. The diversity part is what is causing problems today. In regard to the homecoming queen of Ole Miss she should be recognized for all the good things she has accomplished and proud of it. Being black should not be a consideration. It should just be a everyday occurence and the color of one's skin should never matter. It's about character.

        October 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  65. CSX

    Twofer. PC maxed out, now we feel really good about ourselves.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  66. DJ

    As if the last part of your comment made you look even better

    October 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Lynne

    I am sure there are some better looking black ladies out there/

    October 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUDGED?

      LIKE EVERY WHITE WOMAN THAT GRACES THIS EARTH HAS LOOKS TO DIE FOR?

      October 24, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • David Duke Jr

        Show me an obese white homecoming queen.

        November 2, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  68. magentrix

    There's a difference between "plus size" and "obese".

    This woman is obese, she shouldn't be applauded for eating too much KFC.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • kristina

      and shes still homecoming queen and your not hater

      October 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  69. why277

    And that comment makes you an evil, hateful person who will also be judged.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Charkey

    The reason why this is news is because it is to show that no matter who you are or how you look (she is pretty) you can do anything you want to do in this country even though we still have people in this county that don't think you deserve it based on what they feel is acceptable. That's why homecoming court is VOTED for. You few people posting nasty comments are no kind of valid judge of character and can't take away the fact that she is still THE FIRST BLACK HOMECOMING QUEEN OF OLE MISS...and you are still a miserable nobody sitting at a computer

    October 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TNWhiskey

      Actually, I'm a somebody who's quite happy with my life. Just sayin. I was the first on my dad's side to go to college. I was the first in my family to go to law school. Where's my story? Am I no less of an inspiration to someone and no less a target of mockery from another? Yeah. That's what I thought. Now, to refute another point, for right or wrong, we are all valid judges of character. This is how we determine who we will associate with, whether business or social. If I feel someone is not a moral person, I will probably refuse to associate myself with him/her. That's judging character. We all do it.

      October 25, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  71. zoey

    Just beautiful! I love it when America let other countries know how ugly we are . She's beautiful!

    October 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  72. spent

    Black is the absence of or complete absorption of light. So, to say black is a misrepresentation of the term.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Last real American

    Finally a real woman on the news not some boney anorexic and stereotipical female dog . I think all ladies deserve a chance to be whatever they want to be even if it's for a day
    , no matter the size and race .
    Society is mentally retarded . So what if she's a plus sized woman some of you have mothers that are just as big , please do humanity a favor and keep your negativity on a short leash . Have some decency and dignity .

    October 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Sadie

    I was taught that if I couldn't say something nice about someone, it was better to keep silent. Posters who can't resist making nasty comments about others should really ask themselves this question: "why do I NEED to be so nasty?". Judging others is easier to do than addressing one'sown shortcomings, ain't it?

    October 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Hank

    Who really cares? The great people of the state of Mississippi wrote off ole Miss years ago. No one cares if they win or lose. Dont believe me? Ask about their alumni donations. They need to go ahead and drop the Rebels name because they are a disgrace to the word. I am ashamed I ever played football for that school.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • lizzy's mom

      You should have went to another school if you feel that way. I came out in 2003 and I am proud of the school they have become. GO REBELS!!! And good for that female:)

      October 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  76. SirHipp

    Good for her, good for them, good for the school, whatever. Why is race still a story in this country? Who cares how much pigment she has in her skin? Achieving something outstanding while black is no big deal. At least it sure shouldn't be. Sure, she can be proud of her grand achievement of winning a popularity contest, but her being black doesn't make this news. I'm black, and I do amazing things every day. So does my white neighbor and my Asian friend and my Native American wife. Where's our headlines?

    October 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • msdemeanor70

      Completely agree SirHipp. Race will always be an issue so long as we celebrate an accomplishment solely because of the color of a person's skin. Would it still be such an accomplishment if the beauty was Caucasian or Asian or Hispanic?

      October 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      I love your thinking, too bad it's not reality. If I ever create a utopia, I want you AND your friends to live there with me.

      October 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charkey

      Race is still an issue because of what we see here look how nasty people are being towards this young lady...i cant imagine how others feel our what they are saying...we are not to far removed from the times African Americans couldn't even attend college. Racism is still alive in this country and not just towards African Americans

      October 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Squirrelyone

      Sure, it shouldn't be. Sadly, though, it is. It would be lovely if we could all just applaud her and move on. Interestingly, at least to me, more negative comments here seem to be about her weight than her race. Is this a step up or down for us? If society begins to hate based on race less and based on size more, does that make our pot more melted because we hate a target group of all races equally?

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  77. aurelius

    A shape of things to come!

    October 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Notahater

    ..."if u got to clown somebody else to feel good about urself then do Ms Pearson a favor, STOP HATIN'..."

    October 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  79. jeffision

    Good for her! And kudos to the student body. These people posting negative comments have no idea what real beauty is or how really ugly they are to the majority of us, of every race.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sadie

      Amen to that!

      October 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Jamie

    Good for her!

    October 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Jeremy

    Not pictured: Prom King. lol.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Jessica

    I don't understand why people are so cruel. People are missing the whole point. The point is we all don't have to be blonde, blue eyed, and tall to be considered beautiful. All women are beautiful. No one asked God to look a certain way. We need to start treating people with dignity and fairness and stop being so shallow.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Ryan

    Ole miss is the most liberal school in Mississippi if you want racism go to Mississippi state or alcorn state university or travel back in time 50 years then go to ole miss

    October 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      It's the other way around, and you know it!!! HAIL STATE!!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Charlotte

    Sorry, but obese is not "beautiful." She might be a popular girl, though, and if it is a popularity contest rather than a beauty contest, she probably deserves it hands down.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Squirrelyone

      Homecoming awards aren't supposed to be beauty contests–they're supposed to reflect your involvement and activity. Poise, yes, but that's less how you look than how you carry yourself. If this girl was an active leader, both academically and in her community, and carries herself with dignity, then she should and did qualify. The world is full of very pretty girls that no one's heard of – you have to be involved to gain enough notoriety to be elected for anything, whether it's a homecoming court position or Congress or what have you. Popularity being a determining factor here is no different than when someone runs for anything else.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  85. Up for a thought

    Wow, the fact that you can label a home coming queen of any ethnicity a barrier breaking event is pretty lame. This is the advancement of our species?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Come On

    85% of the student are black, so no news here

    October 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike_Uve-Doble

      That doesn't even make sense.. You said, "85% of the students are black" and this is the first..Did I say first black homecoming queen. Man you sure missed that landing.. Wow so out of touch with reality just like your role model Mitt Romney..

      October 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Come On

    Said the right. Don't say it all, is dumb and lie

    October 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Eyekantspeil

    You got it!!

    October 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike_Uve-Doble

      Eyekantspell..Unfortunately for you, you don't have it..heart.."Ole Miss couldn't find something better than that!"..wow really shallow dude

      October 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Steve

    I just don't get the 'hyphenated' nationalities – such as 'african-american' – most of the students couldn't locate africa if it was the only continent on the map, lol

    October 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike_Uve-Doble

      You don't have to but you should respect them..lol
      Please!

      October 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  90. cutedog2

    "Don't applaud me," she said. "Applaud them. Look at how progressive they are." What a cool chick. A quote of such wisdom has never left the lips of the size 2, blond, Ole Miss Homecoming Queen of past

    October 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shirley

      But they were hot

      October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  91. TracieO

    And the, "I Voted," sticker she's wearing is a nice touch.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  92. TracieO

    Correction: Our President is half-black.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bangalorean

      In my opinion she has beautiful face and ugly body. May be she has a charming personality that why she won the crown. i know lot of girls who are ugly in general trend but becuase of their charming personality they are always men magnet. Its a fact. even i know somepretty girl who look plain or ugly because of their personality. Look at all celebrities. those are all plain looking people with lots of care and charming persona.

      October 25, 2012 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Squirrelyone

        Charisma is a mystifying thing, and one that tends to not lend itself well to photos. Some people don't look special at all, but still suck you in with how they move, how they speak, and how they work whatever mojo they have. What we are is more than how we look.

        October 31, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  93. CaesarXIII

    Actually he's the first bi-racial president. People like to forget he has a white parent.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Whats Bi-racial?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Johnny Vaught

    Where's the rest of the story? I think it would have been appropriate to mention that Ole Miss elected its first Mr. Ole Miss (Colonel Reb) in the 1970s - a guy named Ben Williams who went on to be a star in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and a successful business man in Jackson after his NFL career. While a big deal is made about this being a first at Ole Miss – I offer this question to the writer - how many schools STILL have never elected a Black Homecoming Queen? I'm left wondering, but I'm sure some of your shallow readers aren't.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Razorback21

      More to the point, how many non-southern colleges have never had an african-american homecoming queen???? I was raised in the South and live in the Midwest and believe me, this is not near the story in Oxford, Mississippi that it is here in Illinois. This story just enforces the same old stereotypes out there, in my humble opinion.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Sharon Mahart

    Oh my goodness. She is SO beautiful. This is the image the media should portray for every woman!

    October 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Will

    Really? It's 2012 and Ole Miss JUST now crowned its first African American homecoming queen? When is the US as a nation going to stop being so backwards?

    October 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      sad that people are still making 1st in 2012. But you can bet America will never stop being the biggest source of racism on the planet. Good for her and for all those, regardless of color, who voted for her. Good for all of you!!

      October 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  97. cnnot a news agency

    Wow! So this is the first black homecoming queen in history? Oh, it's not you say? How is this news then?

    October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Why is this news? Probably because the crowning took place during the 50th anniversary of the first African American student being admitted to the school. Because it took 50 years to get to this point at the university. Just a hunch.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zebula

      Umm, Mike, did you mean "bigotry"?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Sherry

    What a beautiful queen, and such knowledge, she is a perfect example for ALL women and children, proving that beauty isn't just outside, but inside too. I think she has such a wonderful heart and I'm so happy for her and her family, and the entire University. Thank you, Courtney for being such an example to all women and someone for little girls to look up to as they grow!

    October 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike_Uve-Doble

      That was an awesome thing to say... Because it is true..

      October 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |