It’s been a controversial pageant season. On August 31, seven-year-old Jakiyah McKoy won the title of Little Miss Hispanic Delaware. But last week news surfaced that she had been stripped of her title and crown because pageant officials couldn’t prove her Latina heritage. The response to her win has brought up issues of racism toward Afro-Latinos and complications faced by descendents of undocumented immigrants.
According to Latino Rebels, which spoke to pageant sponsor Nuestras Raíces Delaware, the pageant cannot prove McKoy’s Latina roots because her Dominican grandmother, who is deceased, was undocumented and they have no paperwork confirming her country of origin. Blogger *Dash Harris, quoted El Tiempo Hispano as saying the public who attended the pageant said McKoy was “not representative of Latin beauty,” and that she was the only contestant who was required to give proof of her ethnic heritage.
McKoy supporters have started an online petition to demand the crown be returned to her.
This article has been corrected to reflect the author of “Diaspora Dash” as Dash Harris, and to clarify that the quote “not representative of Latin beauty,” came from El Tiempo Hispano.