Miss Arkansas returns home to Harrison for the first time since crowning

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:45 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Miss Arkansas 2022, Ebony Mitchell, returned to her hometown of Harrison for the first time since she was crowned.

She will compete for Miss America on December 16.

“Being back in Harrison is such a blessing. It’s an honor,” said Mitchell. “Because I know I’m the first graduate from Harrison High School or person from Harrison to hold the job of Miss Arkansas. So, to come back and see the joy on their faces and how proud they are to have someone that can relay the message of how beautiful a town Harrison is just an honor.”

Mitchell attended Harrison schools her entire childhood. She then attended the University of Central Arkansas, where she graduated with a degree in business marketing. She recently graduated with her a master’s degree from John Brown University.

For the first time in Arkansas’s pageant’s 84-year history, both winners crowned are women of color. In addition to Mitchell, KaMaya Tackett of Conway was named Miss Arkansas Teen 2022.

“It’s everything to me,” said Mitchell. “I’m excited for young girls and boys to see me in this role and see that it is possible for them. In this organization, no matter what your ethnicity or background is. As long as you’re prepared and ready, I think the right person will get the job regardless.”

Mitchell spoke of the inspiration 2005 Miss Arkansas winner Eudora Mosby had on her at a young age to pursue a career in pageantry.

“It was amazing to see someone in that position who was a woman of color,” said Mitchell. “Before that happened, I didn’t know if it was possible for someone like myself.”

Mitchell performs tap dance as a part of her pageant talent piece, many skills she acquired from coaches in Harrison.

“She literally lights up everything when she walks into a room,” said Christy Horton, with Miss Christy’s Powerhouse Athletes. “She’s not fake, her smile is genuine, and she talks to everybody. She just has the ability to make you feel warm inside.”

Horton says Mitchell’s abilities as a dancer and athlete are some of the best she’s ever seen during her 15-plus years as a coach.

As Miss Arkansas, Mitchell says she wants to promote the image of Harrison based on her experience growing up there as an African American female.

“One thing I really want is to change the narrative of how people see Harrison,” she explained. “Because I know from growing up here, I’ve heard it time and time again of the unfortunate reputation that Harrison has. By being in this role and being a woman of color, I’m hoping to change that because Harrison is full of such beautiful people who are intelligent and have so much to give to the world and will give the shirt off their back for a person in need.”

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