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Queens And Their Crowns: The History Of Black Women Becoming Pageant Winners

Miss World 2019 Toni-Ann Singh joins the growing list of Black beauty queens.

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.

RELATED | Brown Skin Girl!: The World Rejoices As Zozibini Tunzi From South Africa Is Crowned Miss Universe 2019

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! 

RELATED | Kenya Moore Posts Photos Of Herself From The 1993 Miss Universe Pageant

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!

  1. Janelle Commissiong (Trinidad and Tobago)-Miss Universe 1977

    (Photo: Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
  2. Vanessa Williams (Bronx, NY)- Miss America 1984

    (Photo: NBCU Photo Bank)
    (Photo: NBCU Photo Bank)
  3. Halle Berry (Cleveland, Oh)- 6th Place At The 1986 Miss World pageant

    (Photo: PA Images via Getty Images)
    (Photo: PA Images via Getty Images)
  4. Debbye Turner (Honolulu, Hawaii)- Miss America 1990

    (Photo: Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)
  5. Carole Anne-Marie Gist (Detroit, MI)- Miss USA 1990

    (Photo:  George Rose/Getty Images)
    (Photo: George Rose/Getty Images)
  6. Janel Bishop (Manchester, NH)- Miss Teen USA 1991

  7. Kenya Moore (Detroit, MI) - Miss USA 1993

    (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
  8. Kimberly Clarice Aiken (Columbia, SC)- Miss America 1994

    (Photo: TIM CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
    (Photo: TIM CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
  9. Chelsi Smith (Redwood City, CA)- Miss Universe 1995

    (Photo: PHILIP LITTLETON/AFP via Getty Images)
    (Photo: PHILIP LITTLETON/AFP via Getty Images)
  10. Wendy Fitzwilliam (Trinidad and Tobago)- Miss Universe 1998

    (Photo: Sean Drakes/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Sean Drakes/Getty Images)
  11. Mpule Kwelagobe (Gaborone, Botswana)- Miss Universe 1999

    (Photo: Getty Images)
    (Photo: Getty Images)
  12. Marissa Whitley (Los Angeles, CA)- Miss Teen USA 2001

    (Photo:  Theo Wargo/WireImage)
    (Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage)
  13. Shauntay Hinton (Starkville, MS)- Miss USA 2002

    (Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
  14. Erika Harold (Urbana, IL)- Miss America 2003

    (Photo: Donna Connor/FilmMagic)
    (Photo: Donna Connor/FilmMagic)
  15. Rachel Smith (Panama City, Panama)- Miss USA 2007

    (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
  16. Crystle Stewart (Houston, TX)- Miss USA 2008

    (Photo: Jill Ann Spaulding/FilmMagic)
    (Photo: Jill Ann Spaulding/FilmMagic)
  17. Kamie Crawford (Potomac, MD)- Miss Teen USA 2010

    (Photo: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)
    (Photo: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)
  18. Caressa Cameron (Fredericksburg, VA)-Miss America 2010

    (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Planet Hollywood)
    (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Planet Hollywood)
  19. Leila Lopes (Benguela, Angola)- Miss Universe 2011

    (Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)
    (Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)
  20. Logan West (Southington, CT)- Miss Teen USA 2012

    (Photo: Charles Eshelman/WireImage)
    (Photo: Charles Eshelman/WireImage)
  21. Nana Meriwether (Soweto, South Africa)- Miss USA 2012

    (Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage)
    (Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage)
  22. Deshauna Barber (Columbus, GA)- Miss USA 2016

    (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
  23. Kára McCullough (Naples, Italy)- Miss USA 2017

    (Photo: Benjamin Askinas/WME IMG via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Benjamin Askinas/WME IMG via Getty Images)
  24. Hailey Colborn (Wichita, KS)- Miss Teen USA 2018

    (Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
  25. Nia Franklin (Winston-Salem, NC)- Miss America 2019

    (Photo: Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
  26. Kaliegh Garris (New Haven, CT)- Miss Teen USA 2019

    (Photo:  Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Art Hearts Fashion)
    (Photo: Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Art Hearts Fashion)
  27. Zozibini Tunzi (Tsolo, South Africa)- Miss Universe 2019

    (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
  28. Jazell Barbie Royale (Jacksonville, Florida)- Miss International Queen 2019

    (Photo: Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
    (Photo: Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  29. Cheslie Kryst (Charlotte, NC)- Miss USA 2019

    (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
    (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
  30. Toni-Ann Singh (Morant Bay, Jamaica)- Miss World 2019

    (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
    (Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

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