The winner of the Miss Black University of Texas pageant has received criticism from people who questioned whether she is African American.

Rachael Malonson, 22, is biracial and was crowned ‘Miss Black University of Texas’ on Sunday at the event hosted by the historically black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.

Rachael Malonson

Rachael Malonson (Credit Image: Twitter)

When they announced her win by posting Malonson’s photo, she started receiving criticism by individuals who pointed out how light her skin is.

Another wrote that: ‘Her father may be black but socially I see she doesn’t even claim it unless when it’s convenient for her. That’s that s*** I don’t like’

One Twitter user pointed out that in the Miss Black pageant, ‘they still chose the most light-skinned.’

This argument was echoed by a number of Twitter users, many of whom brought up Rachel Dolezal as an example of someone who used ‘blackness’ for her own advantage.

Malonson, who has a black father and a white mother, said that she was taken off guard by the criticism.

‘I didn’t realize that even after I received the title I would still have to explain myself, that there was still ignorant people out there who are asking me to prove myself,’ she told Fox.

‘Just because I have straight hair and olive skin tone doesn’t mean I’m not black… I don’t have to look a certain way to be black.’

The 22-year-old, who is a senior and a broadcasting and journalism student at the University of Texas, took the criticism in stride, though.

In a Twitter post, she thanked everyone who came out and supported her, especially those in the African American community.

‘The beautiful thing about this is all the people here who have come out and defended me. It shows I have a beautiful support system here,’ she wrote.

Malonson also said that she has long struggled with her mixed heritage because nobody could figure out where she was from, reported the Daily Texan.

She said that many people thought that she was Hispanic, and that growing up it made her feel insecure.

In a Facebook post after her win, she even wrote that at first she was reluctant to take part in the pageant because of her mixed race.

Additionally, her brother Greg Malonson shared a photo to Facebook that showed his sister after she won the pageant along with one of the pair together, writing that it ‘sickens me that members of our Black community would attack their own because she is biracial. ‘Instead of hating each other, we should unite and uplift each other.’

‘I challenged myself by vulnerably expressing obstacles I face as a biracial woman and was not going to leave the stage without letting others know that my blessings and strength are in Christ alone,’ she wrote.

Malonson also said that social media attacks will not ruin her moment, telling Dallas News: ‘For me, I’ve always had to battle “I’m not black enough.” But to not just place, but win the title is truly rewarding’.

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