South Carolina teen voted in as high school’s first Black homecoming queen

Amber Wilsondebriano stepped into history when she was crowned Porter-Gaud High School’s homecoming queen in late September. By winning the title, Wilsondebriano became the Charleston, South Carolina high school’s first Black homecoming queen in its 155-year history.

Wilsondebriano’s mother, Monique Wilsondebriano, shared the good news on her Facebook account and photos of the newly crowned homecoming queen.

“She won!!” the proud mom wrote in her Sept. 29 post. “The 2023 Porter-Gaud Homecoming Queen!!!! First in the school’s history!”

Following her daughter’s win, her mom told WPDE 15 News that Amber’s win means a lot to the family and the greater community.

“Amber’s classmates elected her not because she is Black, but because they genuinely love her,” she said. “The fact that these kids, most of whom do not look like her, saw something special in Amber and voted her to be their homecoming queen, means the world to us.”

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When she was announced as part of the homecoming court, Amber admitted she didn’t think she’d win the title. However, in the week leading up to the election, the 17-year-old senior started hearing a lot of support from her classmates.

Amber told USA Today she is one of less than 10 Black students in the school. She is the co-founder and vice president of the high school’s Black Excellence Society, the co-president of the Chinese Club and the Art Club president. On top of her busy co-curricular schedule, the homecoming queen has a 4.66 GPA.

Despite her achievements, Amber did not expect to win the title.

“When I was nominated, I didn’t feel confident I would win,” she told USA Today. “However, throughout the week, many students told me they were voting for me. When the day came and my name was called, I was relieved and honored because I knew I was part of history. I was elated the whole night. My peers made me feel special for the day.”

Amber’s father, Chevalo Wilsondebriano, also shared a proud moment with his daughter on his Facebook account.

“It’s remarkable how far this country has progressed,” he told WPDE 15 News. “This achievement is a testament to Dr. King’s dream of the day we can all be judged, not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.”

Shortly after her crowning at the homecoming game’s halftime, Amber had a chance to meet with several young fans of the new queen.

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“On homecoming night, I took so many pictures with young Black children, and I want them to look at me and believe that this is something that is attainable for them,” she told Count On News 2. “It feels like finally I can give them some sort of dream, and help them, even if I get to just stand here and wear a crown, it means so much more than just being the queen.”

After graduation in the spring, the 2023 homecoming queen plans to attend the Savannah College of Arts and Design in the fall of 2024. She will study painting and hopes to illustrate children’s books.