‘Smart,’ ‘Funny’ South Carolina Teen Is the First Black Homecoming Queen In School’s 156-Year History: ‘Made Me Feel Special’

In a historic moment, a high school senior from South Carolina has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Black homecoming queen in her school’s 156-year history.

Amber Wilsondebriano, a senior at Charleston’s Porter-Gaud High School, secured the title of homecoming queen in 2023 through the votes of her peers.

Even though Wilsondebriano said she was confident she would win, when her name was announced on the day of the coronation, she felt deeply honored, especially after realizing she had become a part of the school’s history.

Amber Wilsondebriano won homecoming queen at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photos: Facebook/Monique Wilsondebriano)

“I was elated the whole night. My peers made me feel special for the day,” she told USA Today.

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Students from various ethnic backgrounds were asked to take photos with her as the new queen. Porter-Gaud School is a college preparatory day school with over 1,000 students in first to 12th grade. It was created in 1867, just two years after the Civil War, by the Rev. Anthony Toomer Porter as the Episcopal Holy Communion Church Institute, a school for white boys. 

At just 17 years old, Wilsondebriano has earned a reputation as one of Porter-Gaud High School’s top-performing students, boasting an impressive 4.66 GPA. She leads the Chinese and Art Club at the school, but her proudest accomplishment is being a co-founder of the Black Excellence Society.

Wilsondebriano said that her senior class comprises fewer than 10 Black students. The Black Excellence Society was founded to provide a safe space for Black students at the school.

Amber’s mother, Monique Wilsondebriano, noted that while discussions about race are sometimes uncomfortable, it is necessary to acknowledge the role of race in her daughter’s election as homecoming queen.

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“Amber’s classmates elected her not because she is Black, but because they genuinely love her,” Monique Wilsondebriano said.

As for the Homecoming queen’s future plans, she wants to major in painting at The Savannah College of Art and Design in the upcoming year. She aspires to illustrate and write children’s books and dreams of one day owning a business that features her creative work.

Amber is smart, funny, and has always been a friend to anyone she meets,” her mother said. “The fact that these kids, most of whom do not look like her, saw something special in Amber and voted her to be their homecoming queen, means the world to us.”

Read the original story here.

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