New Little Miss Hispanic Delaware crowned

 The original pageant winner was featured on the cover of El Tiempo Hispano earlier this month.

The original pageant winner was featured on the cover of El Tiempo Hispano earlier this month.

Stripped of her title, Jakiyah McCoy is no longer Delaware’s 2013 Little Miss Hispanic.

 According to the Spanish newspaper El Tiempo Hispano, “there was uproar when the winner was announced because, according to the public, she was not the best representative of a Latin beauty.” The beauty pageant was held Aug. 31. Jakiyah is darker skinned with dark hair, while the new title holder first runner-up Meriana Ayala has fair skin and blonde hair.  

Pageant organizer Nuestras Raíces Delaware maintains Jakiyah’s appearance, and whether she looked Latina enough, had nothing to do with the organization’s decison to revoke her title, and everything to do with the fact that the little girl’s family could not prove her Hispanic lineage.  Calls to Maria Perez with Nuestras Raices Delaware have not been returned. However, on the organization’s Facebook page, a post read, “The family of Ms. McCoy had been asked to provide [documentation] after coronation and they were UNABLE to do so. They were very willing and understanding to the decision that was made.”

According to the pageant’s rules and regulations, contestants must be at least 25 percent Hispanic. It’s been reported that Jakiyah’s grandmother was born in the Dominican Republic.  

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

It has been left open to the grandmother that if she provides documentation to confirm Jakiyah’s Hispanic lineage, [the title] would be reinstated and we would have our first dual queens.”

The Facebook post went on to say the current Little Miss Hispanic, Meriana Ayala, was also required to provide documentation to confirm her Hispanic lineage and that, “going forward… we will be asking for confirmation in advance from every and any participant, not just title holders, to avoid any confusion.”

In a comment left on the page today, the organization reiterates there are no hard feelings between Nuestras Raíces and the McCoys. Nuestras Raíces’ mission, according to its website, is to share the Latin culture while breaking popular stereotypes.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal