This Day in Black History: July 16, 1977

Janelle Penny Commissiong-Chow of Trinidad becomes first Black Miss Universe.

Posted: 07/16/2014 12:00 AM EDT
Janelle Penny Commissiong-Chow

In one of the most competitive contests in the world, Janelle Penny Commissiong-Chow took home the top prize: the Miss Universe title on July 16, 1977.

At just 24 years old, Commissiong-Chow made Blacks and her country proud. Trinidad recognized Commissiong-Chow during their national 50th independence celebrations with photos of the beauty queen in the first moments after being crowned Miss Universe.

Commissiong-Chow was appointed to deputy chairman to the Tourism Development company board several decades later, proving that she has far more to offer the world than her radiant beauty. 

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(Photo: Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)

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