- Valdosta, Ga. - April 07, 2012 -
These days a black homecoming queen is not uncommon, but in the 1970s it was a big deal.
Skip McDonald stood regally at the podium Saturday night. She dawned her crown she's held proudly for 38 years.
McDonald was the first ever black Homecoming Queen at Valdosta State University in 1974. That makes her a leader for African-American equality.
"I don't think I knew I was. Really, you know, I was homecoming queen; it was exciting. I knew I was the first, so at the time I didn't feel the incredible impact like I do now," McDonald said.
Many see McDonald's journey as an inspiration, including recent homecoming queen Avraye Henry.
"It makes me feel really inspired knowing that she has really set forth the foundation for African-American females like myself to have the opportunity to become Homecoming Queen," said Henry.
The 1970s were a different time. Fresh out of the Civil Rights era, Skip McDonald was one of many finding themselves swept to the front pages of history.
McDonald describes what high school was like in the 1960s Civil Rights era.
"That was kind of scary because the whites didn't want us to come to their school and we didn't want to go. We dealt with the whole busing situation and all of that. So that part, as far as high school, it was pretty scary," said McDonald.
Today Skip McDonald is a registered nurse and even an author.