Brianna Mason first black woman to be named Miss Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An elementary school teacher has become the first African-American woman to be crowned Miss Tennessee.

News outlets report Miss Greene County Brianna Mason won the pageant at the University of Tennessee on Saturday night in her fourth attempt.

The 23-year-old Mason is a Nashville native who was second-runner-up in last year’s pageant when she competed as Miss Knoxville.

Mason says she was determined to win the pageant for all young black women. She says, “I’m here to tell you that it does not matter what your skin color is. It does not matter what your religion is. You can do anything that you want.”

Miss Lexington Lauren Dickson was named first runner-up. The pageant was held outside of the west Tennessee city of Jackson for the first time.

Mason will compete in the Miss America pageant later this year.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.