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Journey to the Crown: The National Miss Juneteenth Pageant

What an exciting time of the year! Every October, the National Miss Juneteenth Pageant features, uplifts, and cultivates Black Girl Excellence by crowning a new Juneteenth Queen. Competition is fierce within the competing States. This year, the States that are competing include Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, Oklahoma, Delaware, Tennessee, Illinois, and Colorado. Virginia is slotted to bring her Queen in 2023. But more on that later! The winner of the national pageant receives scholarship awards, cash prizes, and a slew of other gifts. At this point when crowned, the new Queen will begin her reign as the newest Ambassador of Juneteenth, a shared history woven into the very fabric of America.

Juneteenth, in itself, holds historical relevance to the Commonwealth of Virginia. As we all know, (or should know), Juneteenth is the commemorative holiday that amplifies emancipation in 1865. Although, the Proclamation Emancipation was signed into law in 1863, it took TWO (2) whole years to get the word out to Texas that their enslaved persons were free. This final declaration occurred on June 19th, known as “Juneteenth,” and is the reason that it is celebrated today. Virginia’s role is really an “origin” one. It was here that the British colonies settled, and also here where the pirate ship (The White Lion) traded and “introduced” the first enslaved Africans to the colonies that settled on our coastal shores. It was also here where the Civil War took a turn when runaway slaves made their way to “Freedoms Fortress.” The flight to freedom started to form into action as the runaway slaves were considered “contraband” and not “returnable” to their masters. In short, Virginia was a critical element in constructing the pathway to freedom that ultimately led to the emancipation for all enslaved.

The journey to the national crown officially begins today, October 1st. The Miss Juneteenth-Virginia pageant is actively accepting applications to compete in the State-wide pageant. The Virginia Juneteenth Queen represents the “Crown Jewel of Freedom” and is the official ambassador for the pageant during her reign. All applicants must be between 15 and 18 years old. Additionally, contestants must not pass into their 19th birthday before October 30th of the following year. Contestants must be of good health and moral character as well as they must all select a social advocacy platform that they are committed too. Finally, the winner of the State-wide pageant will travel next year to the birthplace of Juneteenth, Galveston Texas, where she will compete for the national crown and title. For more information, please visit the Apply page on this site.


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