Movies like The Help (Octavia Spencer) and A League Of Their Own (Rosie O’Donell) did a great job at depicting what life was like for women during the 50′s and 60′s but this weekend a made for television story unraveled at the University of Mississippi.
Courtney Roxanne Pearson, a 21 yr. old senior English secondary education major made history this weekend when she became University of Mississippi’s (Ole Miss.) first African-American homecoming queen.
The Memphis, TN native received 1,477 votes with competitor Ashleigh Davis receiving 1,387.
Just 50 years ago African Americans weren’t allowed to attend the University. In fact after being barred from entering on September 20, on October 1, 1962, James Meredith became the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi.
Pearson understands how far the University has come. “It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Pearson, “Ole Miss, get ready. We just changed the face.”
This win could never happen if Courtney sat idly and didn’t step out of her comfort zone. “It was undoubtedly a struggle, but it was worth it,” she said. “I did things that I thought I was too shy to do. I realized that I was a pretty good public speaker. And the most important thing I did was work hard.”
After graduation in May 2013, Pearson plans to apply for the Teach for America program and graduate school.