As we come to the close of 2019, Black women (and girls!) around the world are rejoicing to know for the first time in history, Black women have won all major crowns in the mainstream pageant world—Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, Miss International Queen and now Miss World!
Glowing with various shades of rich melanin, Black Beauty Queens have not only secured the crown but also left a legacy for the generations of Brown Skin Girls coming in the future.
However, this was not always possible. Black women were once banned from participation in major beauty pageants, including Miss America and Miss USA. Nevertheless, our beauty cannot be ignored!
In 1970, Cheryl Browne represented Iowa at Miss America and the rest is her-story! Janelle Commissiong earned the title as the first Black Miss Universe in 1977, Vanessa Williams became the first Black Miss America in 1983, the first Black Miss USA contestant, Carole Anne-Marie Gist, was crowned in 1990, and in 1991 Janel Bishop became the first black Miss Teen USA. Legendary!
On the topic of legacies, we have created a timeline of those who represented #BlackGirlMagic throughout the decades on the big stage. Enjoy, as we take a fabulous walk down memory lane!
Janelle Commissiong (Trinidad and Tobago)-Miss Universe 1977
Vanessa Williams (Bronx, NY)- Miss America 1984
Halle Berry (Cleveland, Oh)- 6th Place At The 1986 Miss World pageant
Debbye Turner (Honolulu, Hawaii)- Miss America 1990
Carole Anne-Marie Gist (Detroit, MI)- Miss USA 1990
Janel Bishop (Manchester, NH)- Miss Teen USA 1991
Kenya Moore (Detroit, MI) - Miss USA 1993
Kimberly Clarice Aiken (Columbia, SC)- Miss America 1994
Chelsi Smith (Redwood City, CA)- Miss Universe 1995
Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago)- Miss Universe 1998
Mpule Kwelagobe (Gaborone, Botswana)- Miss Universe 1999
Marissa Whitley (Los Angeles, CA)- Miss Teen USA 2001
Shauntay Hinton (Starkville, MS)- Miss USA 2002
Erika Harold (Urbana, IL)- Miss America 2003
Rachel Smith (Panama City, Panama)- Miss USA 2007
Crystle Stewart (Houston, TX)- Miss USA 2008
Kamie Crawford (Potomac, MD)- Miss Teen USA 2010
Caressa Cameron (Fredericksburg, VA)-Miss America 2010
Leila Lopes (Benguela, Angola)- Miss Universe 2011
Logan West (Southington, CT)- Miss Teen USA 2012
Nana Meriwether (Soweto, South Africa)- Miss USA 2012
Deshauna Barber (Columbus, GA)- Miss USA 2016
Kára McCullough (Naples, Italy)- Miss USA 2017
Hailey Colborn (Wichita, KS)- Miss Teen USA 2018
Nia Franklin (Winston-Salem, NC)- Miss America 2019
Kaliegh Garris (New Haven, CT)- Miss Teen USA 2019
Zozibini Tunzi (Tsolo, South Africa)- Miss Universe 2019
Jazell Barbie Royale (Jacksonville, Florida)- Miss International Queen 2019
Cheslie Kryst (Charlotte, NC)- Miss USA 2019
Toni-Ann Singh (Morant Bay, Jamaica)- Miss World 2019