Eufaula pageant queen makes history

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — At nine years old, J’La Jackson has made history within the Wiregrass pageant community.

Last year, J’La was the first black contestant to be crowned Little Miss Eufaula, and this year she was the only black contestant to compete in the Little Miss Peanut Pageant.

“It’s beautiful being the first girl,” J’La Jackson said.

J’La’s mother, Erica Jackson never thought much of pageants, but seeing the impact it’s had on both of her daughters has changed her mind.

“Once we started putting her in pageants, I came to realize it’s more than just beauty or spending a bunch of money,” Erica Jackson said. “It helped them build confidence, so now she knows how to talk in front of people, she knows how to present herself everywhere, going into an interview, but I promise you at the end of the day you will see a different girl.”

Through being in the spotlight and persevering in her pageant journey, J’La has become an inspiration to many women of color who might not feel confident enough to compete.

“It’s paving the way for people of our color to go out there and say I can do this, I can try,” Erica Jackson said. “Instead of saying never mind, they’re never going to pick me. You know what she might didn’t win but guess what. The world saw her. They know who J’La Jackson is.”

J’La also has encouraging words for others that are interested in being in pageants.

“They know about themselves and they can do anything, anybody else can do,” J’La Jackson said. “Just be yourself and don’t let anybody else tell you what to do.”

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