Family cheers Miss USA to victory from Fayetteville home

Posted June 6

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— The family of a Fayetteville native who was crowned Miss USA Sunday night watched anxiously from their home.

Miss District of Columbia, Deshauna Barber, grew up in Fayetteville and is a first lieutenant in the Army, commander of the 988th Quartermaster detachment at Fort Meade in Maryland.

Barber's mother, Cordelia, who lives in Fayetteville, is battling lung cancer and was not able to make the trip to Las Vegas to watch her 26-year-old compete.

Cordelia Barber said that, when her daughter made it to the top five, the family went crazy.

"I started sweating, and my stomach got sick," she said. "I had to have somebody turn my oxygen up, and I said, 'Just go ahead and max it out because I can't breathe.' I said oh my goodness, this thing is serious."

Dariona Sneed, Deshauna Barber's older sister, said things got even crazier when the beauty queen made the top three.

"When she got to three like, I couldn't stay still. My legs were shaking. I think it was the longest time I have ever held my breath," Sneed said.

The Barber family – both parents and three children – served in the military and were very impressed with her answer about women in combat.

Now that Deshauna has won the crown, Cordelia Barber continues to battle her disease but says her daughter just gave her a special dose of medicine.

"Still, no matter what is happening with me, I'm just going to remind her that all her hard work, it landed her in a good place, and all of her hard work makes me feel good," she said.

Sunday's three-hour show featured 52 contestants representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The pageant had also named a "Miss 52 USA," Alexandra Miller, a 26-year-old from Oklahoma City.


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  • Jimmy Spunker Jun 7, 12:35 p.m.
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    Just to add to my previous comment, I'm not saying she didn't deserve it, but it's racist to have a pageant that only blacks can compete in. If the USA was still segregated I could understand it, but not in 2016.

  • Jimmy Spunker Jun 7, 12:31 p.m.
    user avatar

    Again this confirms my belief the Miss Black America pageant is racist and should be eliminated. If a Black woman can compete in the Miss America pageant, it is racist to have a pageant where only black contestants can compete. We don't have any other pageants solely for ONE race. Am I correct?