Alcorn student Kyra Maurice won the title of Miss Black Mississippi USA on Sept. 4.

In its inaugural year, the pageant was held on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi.

The biology health science major from Gulfport, Miss., has been preparing to enter her first pageant since January.

“As the host was calling out names and I realized I was the winner, all I could do was cry,” said Maurice. “I have prepared for this moment for 9 months. All the late nights, early mornings and breakdowns were all worth it. I’m so excited to start my reign with my other sister queens and represent my school, state, and organizations at nationals.”

Kyra Maurice poses after she is crowned as Miss Black Mississippi USA.

Kyra Maurice poses after she is crowned as Miss Black Mississippi USA.

She will move on to compete for the National Miss Black USA title in August 2024 In Washington, D.C.

Kyra wanted to participate in this pageant because it offered a robust platform for women of color.

“I decided to compete in this particular pageant system because it is a greater opportunity for women with my skin type, hair texture, and body shape,” said Maurice.

Her platform, “You Glow Girl,” has provided full makeover sessions, a photoshoot, and brunches across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“It is partnered with my business, Kaotic Beats, and it gives back to those women in the community who are going through hard times such as cancer, depression including postpartum, etc.”

So far, in her campaign, she has completed two makeovers and donated numerous wigs to those in need.

Kyra was inspired to launch her platform because of the kindness shown to her grandmother before she passed away from cancer.

“Providing this service to women made me feel so complete,” she said. “My grandma passed away in 2019 from breast cancer. She was able to receive a makeover just like what I provide, and to see her so happy made me want to do the same thing for other women.”