According to NBCA representative Jewana Helmstetter, Johnson broke the color barrier by becoming the first Caucasian Historically Black Colleges and Universities student to be awarded the honor after four days of competing against her peers from other HBCUs.
“We’re extremely proud of her courage in a situation where she could have been intimidated by the competition,” Helmstetter said.
But Johnson, from Lincoln, wasn’t a stranger to making history. Near the beginning of the semester, Johnson, currently a senior, was selected to be the first-ever Caucasian Miss Talladega College.
“Talladega College was created 146 years ago by former slaves to educate individuals, regardless of their race, creed or nationality,” TC President Billy C. Hawkins said. “I am proud our student body has embraced our first ethnically diverse Miss Talladega College. Miss Johnson’s selection truly marks Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words 50 years ago — that we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.”
A Presidential Scholar who holds a 3.94 grade-point average, Johnson earned a softball and academic scholarship after being recruited to attend the college.
“When choosing a college, Talladega College just felt like home,” Johnson said. “It is an indescribable feeling to be Miss Talladega College."
Johnson, a social work major, currently is transitioning from player on the college’s softball team to the position of coach. After graduating from Talladega College, Johnson said her goal is to work with neglected and abused children.
“I am a social work major because I want to serve others,” Johnson said. “I am so honored to serve my college as Miss Talladega College and to be a part of a wonderful tradition.”
Contact Shane Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org