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Miss USA Asya Branch Could Make History In Sunday's Miss Universe Competition At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami/AP) - History could be made during the 69th Miss Universe competition Sunday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Asya Branch, the first Black Miss Mississippi to win Miss USA, will compete for the title of Miss Universe. She will be up against 89 other hopefuls in this year's competition.

If she wins, Brach would be the first Mississippi native to ever hold the title and the first Miss USA to win the competition since 2012.

Branch, a Booneville native, made history in November by being the first Mississippi representative to win Miss USA. She was also the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Mississippi USA in 2019.

"I was so honored to have made history, but at the same time, I thought, 'Wow, we're still having firsts,'" she said at the time.

Branch, who also represented Mississippi in the separate Miss America pageant in 2018, has used the platform to talk about criminal justice reform. The issue is personal to her. Branch's father served a 10-year prison sentence that forced him to be away from his family while Branch was growing up.

"It's really an honor to be able to set this example for young girls to know that they don't have to look like the person that came before them in order to accomplish their goal," she said.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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