DeShuana Barber, winner of the Miss USA 2016 pageant (read about her win HERE), wore an afro on stage yesterday during the Miss USA 2017 pageant as a touching tribute to her mother. Barber’s mother, Cordelia Barber, died of lung cancer 3 months after she was crown Miss USA. Barber says her mother always wanted to see her wear an afro on stage.
She revealed how much her mother meant to her in this heartfelt message on instagram last year:
Now that my mother has passed on I can be honest about my crowning moment. I have lied to a lot of people…. Telling interviewers that I was so dramatically emotional because I worked so hard to be on that stage. But in reality all 52 contestants worked hard to be on that stage so who am I to cry for that reason? The truth is, I was emotional because my mom was in her home fighting for her life and there was nothing I could do to help her. I told myself that the least thing I could do for my mother was to make her proud by bringing the Miss USA crown home to our family. I cried because I was shocked that I accomplished that goal. I knew she was screaming with joy and probably felt the happiest she will ever feel during her lifetime. I felt blessed that God allowed me to give her that moment of happiness knowing she would not live much longer. I was so thankful and humble for that. I received a lot of slack for using the “Military Card” during on stage question and was constantly called names like Tar, Monkey, Skeleton and the N-word on social media…. but I didn’t care. All that mattered to me was my mother and quite frankly she is still all that matters to me 🙌🏾 Long story short, you never know what someone is going through so maybe we should lead our lives with kindness, it will get you much further than HATE ❤️
DaShaun crowned this year’s winner, Kara McCullough:
Many found Dashaun’s simple tribute incredibly inspiring, with one woman tweeting:
— Astasia Williams (@AstasiaWill) May 15, 2017
DeShuana Barber is the first woman actively serving in the U.S. military to win the title of Miss USA. A native of Columbus, Georgia, Barber grew up in a military family. She has a business management degree from Virginia State University and a master’s degree in management information systems from the University of Maryland University College. Barber works as an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce and is a lieutenant in the Army Reserves. She is the definition of #blackgirlmagic
You can watch her tribute to her mother and final walk below:
Looking forward to seeing more of DaShauna in the future.