"So I went back and I said, 'Mom, the girl just told me I wasn't going to win because I'm a nigger.' And my mom said, 'No, you're not going to win because you left that whole middle section out, the lines. We had rehearsed that!'"
Chandra proved both of them wrong by taking the top prize at the pageant. "The thing that, that taught me was, first of all, that word doesn't mean anything, obviously, because I'm standing there with the trophy," she says. "But it also said I don't even have to be perfect. … [I have] what I have and that's good enough."