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Though This Was Her First Pageant, Ole Miss Senior Wins Miss Black & Gold 2015-2016

Photo from Instagram page of the Nu Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha
Photo from Instagram page of the Nu Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha

As a young girl growing up in a Hinds County town called Utica, Mississippi, Corbin Divinity refused to let her shyness keep her from enjoying the fun things in life as she took ballet, jazz and tap classes and played sports. Today, her habit of stepping out of her comfort zone earned her the title of Miss Black and Gold on October 20.

“I didn’t expect to win. I didn’t cry, but I felt a warm feeling inside,” she said.

The University of Mississippi’s Nu Upsilon chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity sponsors the Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant, which is named for the fraternity’s colors, yearly.
The contestants were required to do an opening dance, introduce themselves, showcase a talent, model a swimsuit and formal attire, as well as answer an interview question.

Photo courtesy Facebook
Photo courtesy Facebook

She said that although she is usually confident and energetic when in front of an audience, she got shaky whenever it was time to do something on stage.

“I was extremely nervous and unsure of myself being that I had never been in a pageant,” the Columns Society member said.

Corbin is an African-American senior double-majoring in biology and psychology and minoring in chemistry. Though her plate is already filled with academic priorities, she also serves as the director of programming for the Black Student Union and is a member of other school organizations.

Like the sports she enjoyed playing as a pre-teen, she thinks the pageant was fun and exciting.

Jamille Hartfield, a senior majoring in marketing and corporate relations who was also one of the contestants, says it was an extraordinary experience.

Hartfield said, “I took a risk by stepping out of my comfort zone. I gained a new confidence about myself as well as new friendships and nine pageant sisters.”

Corbin performed her best version of a monologue called “The Average Black Girl” by Ernestine Johnson for the talent portion and answered an interview question about the issue of Hilary Clinton’s private e-mail account.

“During the preparation weeks, I forced myself not to get too excited because I did not want to be crushed if I lost,” said Divinity. “So I always repeated to myself ‘This is simply for fun, you’re still beautiful, no matter who wins.’”

The next big step for Corbin is medical school and eventually becoming a medical physician.


Melody Dixon is a senior print journalism major at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at mddixon@go.olemiss.edu.

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