Cortnee R. Smith, Miss Black Illinois USA 2013

On Saturday, October 27th, 2012, Cortnee R. Smith was honorably crowned Miss Black Illinois USA 2013 after successfully competing against 7 contestants in the Miss Black Illinois USA Scholarship Pageant at the DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago, Illinois.

Cortnee R. Smith, the former Miss Black South Suburban USA 2013 competed alongside DeNisha Yearby, Miss Black Evanston USA 2013, Ameshia Cross, Miss Black Chicago USA 2013, Amanda Askew, Miss Black Chicago Metropolitan USA 2013, Inez Jones, Miss Black Hyde Park USA 2013, Ariel Fuller, Miss Black Chicago Southland USA 2013, Shakari White, Miss Black Austin USA 2013 and Jaleesa Patterson, Miss Black Rock Island USA 2013 in five competitions – Interview, Talent, Question and Answer, Fitness, Evening Gown. With grace, elegance and unwavering confidence, Miss Smith captivated the judges and the audience with her skillful vocals and classic beauty. “I feel so honored and humbled,” Smith states. “But most of all, I am humbled to know that the State of Illinois believes that I have the potential to efficiently serve our communities and bring home the crown from Nationals as the next Miss Black USA 2013.”

Miss Smith is a 25 year old a native of the Village of Calumet Park and is an aspiring politician. Smith received her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Political Science in 2009 and studied abroad in Berlin, Germany at Humboldt University. She impressively obtained a Masters in Public Administration from Roosevelt University in May 2012. Community service has been always been priority in Miss Smith’s life. She actively serves on many local mayoral campaigns, assists food clinics, leads fitness classes and is an expert motivational speaker. Each year, Miss Smith participates in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer to show support for women’s issues. Additionally, as a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, an organization founded upon Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service, Smith helps to raise awareness and funds for The March of Dimes and the Glass Slipper Project. The culmination of Smith’s community service inspired her to establish an organization entitled, “Eden’s Image: An Etiquette School for Girls”. Smith is also in the process of composing a children’s book about the experience of a young girl building her self-esteem. Her novel will be published at the end of her reign.

As Miss Black Illinois USA 2013, Miss Smith will travel throughout the entirety of the state in efforts to uplift and educate the African-American community via the implementation of her platform “Empowering Girls of Color Through Health and Fitness” which encourages young women to make health-conscious choices that last a lifetime. “I am passionate about health and fitness amongst girls of color because the statistics are against them, but I believe it is not too late to redirect their paths. Through a variety of clinics I will expose prevention methods of obesity, eradicate unhealthy habits and help them make new lifestyle changes”, illustrates Smith. Additionally, to help decrease the elevating rates of Heart Disease amongst African-American women, Smith will proudly endorse the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s “Heart Truth” campaign by spreading the awareness of heart disease throughout Illinois’ communities. “I am ready for hard work and sacrifice because this journey is not about me; it is about every person that I will encounter, influence and make a difference upon”, states Smith.

Cortnee Smith, Miss Black Illinois USA 2013 is available for booking. If interested in booking Miss Smith for an event, please send an email to, Assistant Executive Director : containing your name, request and contact information.

The Miss Black Illinois USA Scholarship Pageant is the official preliminary for the Miss Black USA Pageant. The Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit corporation, recognized under the 501(c)3 code of the Internal Revenue Service. It is the mission of the Miss Black USA Pageant to provide educational opportunities to outstanding young women of color and to develop the “whole woman mind, body and spirit. For more information about the Miss Black Illinois USA Pageant and the Miss Black USA Pageant, visit and

To become a contestant, volunteer or sponsor for the Miss Black Illinois USA 2014 Pageant, please contact Executive Director/ Producer, Roshonda Payne at 877-277-7902 or via email at

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