Huggins wins Miss Juneteenth national crown

Published 12:04 pm Monday, October 23, 2023

Smithfield High School senior Sunshine Huggins was crowned Miss Juneteenth USA National Queen for 2023-24 on Oct. 14 in Philadelphia.

Huggins, who played the harp in the talent portion of the competition, was crowned Virginia’s inaugural Juneteenth Queen earlier in the year. She won four out of five categories, including the crown, Miss Congeniality, Miss Black Wall Street, and Best Talent.

“Becoming a part of the Miss Juneteenth Virginia Legacy Pageant has changed my life and has taught me a lot about Virginia’s history and the African American experience,” Huggins said. “It has also given me a solid foundation about Juneteenth and emancipation. I truly believe that we, as a people, cannot direct our futures without an understanding of our past. I am proud to represent both Virginia and the Miss Juneteenth USA organization as I continue to share the ‘Story of Us.’ ”

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The Miss Juneteenth Virginia Legacy Pageant Program aims to “educate, elevate and empower young African Americans” throughout Virginia. The program utilizes a mentorship-based business model that is designed to promulgate cultural awareness through historical education, the arts, financial literacy and personal and professional development. Participants engage in community service, field trips and workshops to gain a full understanding of Virginia’s history from its inception to present day.

“Sunshine Huggins is a beacon of light for the organization and her community,” said EN Seals, president and founder of Miss Juneteenth Virginia. “She prides herself in educating others about Juneteenth and how its importance is still relevant in today’s world.”