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BSB Feature: Mariah Sankey – Miss Howard University

As a proud Howard Alum, I am so happy to feature Mariah Sankey, the current Miss Howard University. She is a bama belle with a strong sense of southern pride of commitment to service. Learn more about her and her love of the south below:


Miss Howard University


Opelika, AL


Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Favorite thing about being southern:

The southern hospitality that you can only understand growing up in the south, plus a great accent!

What is your personal life motto:

A setback is simply a setup for a comeback.

What is the most challenging obstacle you have had?

One of the most challenging obstacles I have had as Miss Howard University is trying to remain true to myself in such a prestigious position. I set out to be a Queen that represents ALL women no matter what the stereotypical characteristics of a pageant queen. I strive to ensure that all women know they are queens with or without a crown on their head especially with me being a plus size + natural hair queen, something Howard has rarely seen before.

What are some projects you are working on as Miss Howard?

My platform as Miss Howard University was I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss, an initiative to cultivate more female leaders on campus and in the community. My last endeavor is to be featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the Top HBCU Campus queens. You can vote unlimited every day at

Why did you choose Howard University?

I always knew I wanted to attend an HBCU. I chose Howard University because it’s the Mecca of HBCUs, of course! I knew that I wanted to experience living somewhere other than the south and go to a school that had a larger student body. Howard was 13 hours from home and has around 10,000 students so it only made sense for me to attend! Plus, I received a full tuition scholarship!

What is your favorite homecoming event?

My favorite homecoming event each year is the Gospel Show! This event closes out Homecoming each year and it’s such a beautiful worship experience. It closes the week of events perfectly with honoring our savior!

Who is your favorite character a “Different World”?

My favorite character on A Different World would have to be Kim because I identify so much with her drive and passion for success specifically in the field of medicine.

If you could do any job, what would that be?

If I could do any job, I would open a free health clinic for at risk women and children to receive free health care in urban and rural areas.

Who do you wish you could meet?

 I wish that I could meet First Lady Michelle Obama. She is the epitome of a strong Black Woman! I would love to simply have lunch with her to pick her brain on how it feels to be one of the most powerful and influential women in the world.

What would your best friend say is the best/most annoying quality about yourself?

My best friend would say my best quality is my love for people. I have a very matronly spirit which also comes from being a southern belle. My most annoying quality would probably be that I am very dramatic as all southern belles are! Charge it to my head, not my heart!

What advice would you give your younger high school self?

I would tell myself not to worry about what other people think and say about you. I would say that so much better is in store for you in the years to come so do not get discouraged, your path is anointed.

Where can we connect with you?

You can connect with me on Instagram and Twitter at @misshowardu!

We are so happy for you Mariah! We can’t wait to see all the great work you do as Miss Howard University (GO HU!) as well as in the healthcare space. Let us know if we can do anything to support you!


Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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