On Monday night, Miss USA 2020 grabbed her crown. At Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, Asya Branch, who represented the state of Mississippi, was awarded the honor. After months of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 22-year-old Stunner won the award. According to Fox News, the competition typically takes place during the season. The branch was granted her crown by Cheslie Chryst, who won the pageant in 2019.
While she’s young, Branch already has quite a resume: she attended summer school at Harvard University at the age of 17. She graduated from Ole Miss and runs her own line of cosmetics called Branch Beauty (although after Branch won the title, the shop was put on hold).
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Miss USA.
Who are Asya Branch’s parents?
According to her official pageant bio, Branch comes from a big family and is the sixth of 8 siblings. Her father had retired from the army and her mom worked as an assistant teacher.
Branch’s father was arrested at home for kidnapping and armed robbery when she was 10 years old when she and her siblings were watching her from the car. “Our lives changed forever on that day,” she told Empower Missippi. “We had a lovely home and a nice life.”
The bank foreclosed on their home with her father in jail. “When they found out my father was in jail, people looked at us differently,” she said. In my life, it was a crucial point, and it ended up changing me. I felt this intense guilt. Now, to support other children who have imprisoned parents, Branch talks about the story of her father.
What issues does she care about?
A significant element of the Branch’s agenda is the improvement of criminal justice. According to Glamour, she started an initiative called “Finding Your Way: Inspiring Children of Incarcerated Parents.”
Branch also talks about responsible ownership of guns.
“As someone who grew up with weapons in a family, I learned how to load, how to shoot and gun safety at an early age, and I believe that education should be open to all,” she said, during a portion of the competition where, according to The Daily Beast, she was charged with speaking on a random topic pulled from a package.
“I think it’s important that we don’t ban weapons, because obviously, criminals will still find a way to get what they want, but I think our Second Amendment is right, and we just need more protection,” she said, although she mentioned that people who want guns should go through training and testing to get them.
Does she have a connection to President Trump?
The beauty queen met several times with the president. In 2018, alongside Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, she was part of a roundtable discussion on criminal justice reform.
When she became Miss Mississippi USA that year, at a Trump rally in the state, she also sang the national anthem. She wrote on Instagram at the time, “Incredible pleasure to sing the national anthem tonight at Southaven for President Trump ‘s rally.”
However, when answering a question during the competition, she did not completely support the president’s administration. “According to Fox News,” We have lost faith in the structures that seem to keep our country going, from the media to industry to our government, “Branch said. And it’s all about rebuilding that faith and coming together and working together in these systems to heal and trust. We’re going to have to set a better example if we want to continue being the greatest country.
Is Branch the first black woman to be Miss USA?
Oh, no. However, according to People Magazine, she is the first black woman to be Miss Mississippi USA.
Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA were all black women last year, for the first time in history.
This post first appeared on “New York Post”