After making history, Miss USA competing for Miss Universe

Asya Branch, Miss Mississippi USA 2020, is announced Miss USA 2020, Photo Date: 11/9/20

Asya Branch, the first Black Miss Mississippi to win Miss USA, will compete for the title of Miss Universe Sunday.

Posted: May 16, 2021 2:03 AM
Updated: May 16, 2021 9:26 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Asya Branch, the first Black Miss Mississippi to win Miss USA, will compete for the title of Miss Universe on Sunday.

The 69th Miss Universe competition will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Hollywood, Florida. The event will air live on FOX beginning at 7 p.m. central.

The Clarion Ledger reports that Branch, a Booneville native, made history in November by being the first Mississippi representative to win Miss USA. She was also the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Mississippi USA in 2019.

“I was so honored to have made history, but at the same time, I thought, ‘Wow ... we’re still having firsts,’” Branch told the newspaper.

Branch, who also represented Mississippi in the separate Miss America pageant in 2018, has used the platform to talk about criminal justice reform. The issue is personal to her. Branch's father served a 10-year prison sentence that forced him to be away from his family while Branch was growing up.

“It’s really an honor to be able to set this example for young girls to know that they don’t have to look like the person that came before them in order to accomplish their goal,” she said.

Branch will compete against 89 other hopefuls in this year’s competition. In 2019, Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, was named the winner. The 2020 competition was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

If Branch wins, she would be the first Mississippi native to ever hold the title and the first Miss USA to win the competition since 2012.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320292

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22299271
Hinds20782424
Harrison18455317
Rankin13933282
Jackson13740249
Madison10276225
Lee10068176
Jones8475167
Forrest7845153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6524150
Lamar636688
Lafayette6315121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4842133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4610148
Marshall4576105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc426173
Monroe4163136
Union415977
Neshoba4066180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3374111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314771
Adams308586
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292468
Prentiss284461
Leake272474
Marion271480
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232469
Winston230382
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210759
Holmes190574
Stone188833
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135547
Greene131934
Lawrence131424
Montgomery128943
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126542
Carroll122330
Webster115132
Jefferson Davis108534
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79218
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549394

Reported Deaths: 11328
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810851571
Mobile42180832
Madison35733524
Tuscaloosa26186460
Shelby25638255
Montgomery25103615
Baldwin21921314
Lee16301176
Calhoun14725329
Morgan14650286
Etowah14192364
Marshall12465230
Houston10798289
Elmore10302214
Limestone10191157
St. Clair10166251
Cullman9975201
Lauderdale9621250
DeKalb8978190
Talladega8467184
Walker7351281
Autauga7244113
Jackson6993113
Blount6957139
Colbert6418140
Coffee5650128
Dale4931116
Russell455241
Chilton4476116
Franklin432082
Covington4283123
Tallapoosa4137155
Escambia402380
Chambers3731124
Dallas3609158
Clarke353361
Marion3264107
Pike314878
Lawrence3135100
Winston283672
Bibb268664
Geneva258782
Marengo250566
Pickens237062
Barbour234460
Hale227078
Butler225071
Fayette219763
Henry194844
Randolph187744
Cherokee187545
Monroe181041
Washington170639
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156157
Cleburne153744
Lamar147237
Lowndes142154
Wilcox126830
Bullock124642
Conecuh113830
Coosa112129
Perry108826
Sumter106032
Greene93734
Choctaw62125
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