She took her crown and waved at the crowd, but not everyone at the University of Texas was cheering for Rachael Malonson.
While the bi-racial beauty queen took home Kappa Alpha Psi’s Miss Black University of Texas title, social media is questioning her blackness, saying the journalism major is too light skinned to wear the crown.
— chocolate drop ?✨ (@_ColeWorldShwty) May 3, 2017
Malonson, whose mother is white and father is black, said it’s an issue she’s dealt with her whole life. “I wasn’t sure if I would even place in the pageant because I wasn’t sure they would think I was ‘Black enough,’ ” she told USA Today College.
Congratulations to our 2017 Miss Black University of Texas! We thank our lovely contestants, as well as everyone else who came to support!?? pic.twitter.com/yEva52wpSp
— Iota Delta NUPEs (@ID_NUPEs) May 2, 2017
The UT senior says she joined the competition to “gain a deeper inner confidence” before graduation. “For me, I’ve always had to battle ‘I’m not black enough.’ But to not just place, but win the title is truly rewarding,” she said in a Dallas Morning News interview.
The 22 year old, who is also vice president of UT’s National Association of Black Journalists, was surprised at the backlash she received. “I didn’t realize that, even after I received the title, I would still have to explain myself, that there was still ignorant people out there who are asking me to prove myself,” she told Fox News. “Just because I have straight hair and olive skin tone doesn’t mean I’m not Black.”
Malonson’s brother voiced his thoughts on Facebook, saying, “It sickens me that members of our Black community would attack their own because she is biracial (black). Our father is Black and hateful comments that question her race discredit our father and other Black fathers and mothers who have biracial (black) children.”
He urged the community to “unite and uplift each other. The only way our Black community can become stronger is if we support and love one another rather than tear each other down.”
Kappa Alpha Psi’s Iota Delta chapter defended their decision to crown Malonson. In a press release, the chapter stated, “The Miss Black University of Texas Scholarship Pageant was established in 1982 with a singular goal in mind–to support and uplift African-American women…In its 35 year existence, women from all across the color spectrum have won the scholarship pageant.”
“Rachael is a perfect embodiment of the ideals and precepts of the Miss Black University of Texas Scholarship Pageant,” the chapter continued. “On the basis of her scholastic promise, community involvement, and professional demeanor, it is with great pride and absolute conviction that the Iota Delta Chapter stands with and supports their 2017 Miss Black University of Texas, Rachael Malonson.”