There were highs and lows for you, but what was the hardest part about your time as Miss America?
Truthfully? The response from some in the Black community. Most Black people were wonderful to me. There were people who said, “You made me so proud to be a Black woman.” But then there were others who thought I was never good enough. I was told, “You’re not dark enough.” People were upset that I had a White boyfriend. Tony Brown was relentless. I was told I was not being a true representative of Black women. Both my parents are Black. I got my blue eyes from my Black grandfather! Once I resigned, the same people who said I wasn’t Black enough accused me of shaming and disgracing all Black women. It was tough.
Excerpt from Essence (May Issue)