Chanda Branch is an educator, art enthusiast and Ms. Black USA 2019. Being taught the importance of leadership and civic engagement at an early age has carried her through a successful career in pageantry.
Branch graduated from Tennessee State University, with a bachelor’s in speech communications and theater.
The St. Petersburg, Florida, native has formerly served as Miss Black and Gold at Tennessee State University, Mrs. Black North Carolina USA, and on the city of Raleigh Arts Commission. She dedicates her platform to create opportunities for people of color in the arts.
We spoke with Branch about her pageant success and how she uses her platform.
Tell us about your journey to being crowned Ms. Black USA 2019.
When I graduated, I started working, then I got married and I said that’s that. Because most pageant circuits don’t support women who are over the age of 25, married, or have children, and the Miss Black USA circuit offered all of that. In 2017, I was able to serve as Mrs. Black North Carolina, and that was an amazing opportunity. I would have participated in the national pageant, but I got pregnant. That was the second time and I said that’s it for me and kind of sat back.
The next thing I knew, the young lady who was going to compete for the 2019 pageant wasn’t able to go, so I got a phone call. I had about three weeks to get ready after I [had] just had the baby. My baby was 10 months old when I competed and won the title of Ms. Black USA.
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