Miss Black USA Pageant on UDC Campus Crowns Miss Black Kentucky as Its New Queen

Miss Black USA Pageant on UDC Campus Crowns Miss Black Kentucky as Its New Queen

Miss Black USA Pageant on UDC Campus Crowns Miss Black Kentucky as Its New Queen

Louisville Native Plans to Use Scholarship to Attend David A. Clarke School of Law

Miss Black USA 2023

Miss Black Kentucky Ariel Thompson is crowned Miss Black USA 2023.


It was an evening of pageantry and “Black girl magic” on August 6 as contestants from across the country showcased their talents, accomplishments and beauty during the 2023 Miss Black USA Pageant held at the University of the District of Columbia’s Theater of the Arts.

The pageant, whose theme was Redefining Beauty, was live-streamed on Fox Soul and is open to single African American women between 18 and 27.

At the top of the show, contestants performed a choreographed dance routine before the emcee announced the 12 finalists. The finalists then competed in categories including lifestyle and fitness, talent, evening wear and a question-and-answer segment. Miss Black Kentucky Ariel Thompson was crowned Miss Black USA 2023 after standing out among the contestants in each category; during the talent portion of the evening, for example, she crafted a live portrait in just moments on stage.

“I am so honored,” Thompson said. “I am happy to be a part of an organization that celebrates Black women and gives us an outlet to be ourselves and to go above and beyond to help us go further in life.”

Thompson, a native of Louisville, Ky., is working to complete the Executive MBA Program at Bellarmine University in Kentucky and plans to graduate in December 2023. As the pageant winner, she receives a full scholarship to UDC valued at up to $85,000 for undergraduate or graduate programs, including the David A. Clarke School of Law.

“My next step will be taking advantage of my opportunity at UDC Law School,” Thompson said. “I advocate for education, and I believe that’s the only way we will fill any type of wealth gap.”

UDC President Maurice D. Edington, Ph.D., congratulated the participants.

“It’s always great to have the institution be on the national stage and to be able to host and feature this great event,” Edington said after the competition. “As the new president, it’s one of my first opportunities to represent UDC in front of a national audience. I was quite honored and proud to be here.”

Other prizes include paid speaking opportunities, a one-year modeling contract, a portfolio photo shoot and online model portfolio from MMG Model Management in New York City, paid travel and accommodations, and glamour services and supplies.

Thompson said she is ready for the responsibilities of wearing the crown passed on to her by 2022 Miss Black USA Tahira Gilyard.