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First Miss Black England Loses Crown

Shantella Y. Sherman | 11/24/2009, 4:48 p.m.

The Miss England victory for the country€s first Black queen was short-lived. Just months after being crowned Miss England, Rachel Christie, gave up her crown after being arrested on suspicion of a nightclub assault, allegedly over a love triangle.

And while details of the incident remain sketchy, what is clear, according to pageant organizers, is that Christie has relinquished her crown and also withdrawn from next month€s Miss World competition in South Africa.

In a statement that the 21-year-old heptathlete will focus on clearing her name and training for the 2012 Olympics. British newspapers reported that Christie got into a brawl with another beauty queen €" Miss Manchester Sara Beverley Jones €" in a nightclub.

According to reports from Greater Manchester Police, Christie, niece of famed Olympic runner Linford Christie was arrested on suspicion of assault after an altercation at London€s Mansion nightclub. She was released on bail pending further inquiries.

Reactions to the unseating have been quick and decidedly in favor of Christie€s stepping down. Ronald Edmonds, a law clerk from Laurel, Md. said that Christie€s win was a major achievement for young Black girls the world over. Her fistfight dashed more dreams that simply her own.

€I have heard some people try to make this a race issue or compare it to Miss America contestants, but you cannot compare British standard to American standards. They sometimes have higher standards. As the reigning queen of a country, a young lady is representative of that country. She should be a lady. It doesn€t matter what the fight was about, just that she didn€t have the grace to walk away from it,€ Edmonds said.

Edmonds is not alone in his sentiments. British talk show host and author Dotun Adebayo said that he was so disappointed in Christie because in addition to losing sight of her dream, she did so over a man. Adebayo publicly warned mothers to teach their daughters how to avoid such tragic mistakes.

€What a loss it is to my children and yours that the first €Black queen€ of England was forced to abdicate. There are two cardinal rules that every girl with ambition needs to learn €" especially Black girls, who are going to have to work harder and smarter to get to the top and break the baby mother stereotype. Stay away from boys; keep your eyes on the prize (in Rachel's case, a gold medal at London 2012),€ Adebayo said.

Adebayo said that he knows what it is like to have raging hormones, but in Christie€s actions, the trade off was not worth it.
€We have to teach young girls to keep their minds on their money and their money on their minds. Rachel knew what to do to get to the top. Now instead, we can all point to her as an example when our daughters start putting boys before the prize,€ Adebayo said.

Christie, a professional track and field athlete, stood head and shoulders above her competition at 5ft 10in. Controversy initially surrounded her win after web polling revealed that she had only garnered nine votes in the public opinion votes, compared to finalist Zoiey Smale, who got 2,013.

Christie said that despite giving up her crown, she will push forward as a 2012 Olympic hopeful. She maintains the spirit of the statement she released following her win.

€One of my reasons for doing Miss England in the first place was because I wanted to show people, the younger generation especially, that you can do something positive with your life. Whoever you are, you can be who you want and whatever you want to be if you just put your mind to it and have ambition and determination,€ Christie said.

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