Black women hold all 3 major US beauty pageant titles for first time in history

The three most prestigious crowns in American beauty pageantry have all gone to black women for the first time in history. 

Cheslie Kryst, 28, scooped the Miss USA title on 2 May and Kaliegh Garris, 18, won Miss Teen USA on 28 April. They joined 25-year-old Nia Franklin, who was crowned Miss America 2019 back in September at a glittering ceremony in New Jersey.

Practising attorney Cheslie Kryst, 28, was also the oldest Miss USA ever to win the title (AP)

The pageant wins have been hailed as a symbol of progress, in a country whose past is scarred by gender stereotypes and racism.

It is important to little brown and black girls to see three strong figures, three strong women, African-American women that are doing so much great work,” Ms Franklin, a composer and social activist, tells the New York Times on Saturday.

“People will argue that race doesn’t matter. But race does matter in America, because of the history, because of slavery.”

Nia-Franklin-Miss-USA.jpg Nia Franklin was crowned Miss America 2019 in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 9, 2018 (AP)

Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to win the Miss America title in 1984. Carole Gist won Miss USA in 1990. Janel Bishop won Miss Teen USA in 1991. Each competition has had multiple black winners since.


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