Kryst, 28, will now advance to the Miss Universe competition. The oldest of the three pageants is Miss America, which dates back to the early s but only began accepting women of color in the s. Cheryl Browne became the first black women to participate in and Vanessa Williams was crowned the first black Miss America in
But the reality is, it actually shouldn't be all that surprising. Though Miss America was founded inby —smack dab in the middle of the civil rights movement—Miss Black America was created in protest of the fact that the pageant had never chosen a Black winner. And it wouldn't be until nearly two decades later that changed, with Vanessa Williams taking the crown in
The year-old Connecticut native says she feels "more confident" rocking her natural hair. The year-old Connecticut native showed off her natural curls as she tearfully accepted the crown. Garris, who took home the title for Miss Connecticut Teen USA in January, held hands and swapped encouraging smiles with Vogel as they waited for the winner to be announced.
The Charlotte, NC native is also a former record-setting Division I athlete whose passions include blogging about workplace style at White Collar Glam and volunteering at Dress For Success to supply low-income women with professional attire. Fun fact: Her mom also won Mrs. During Nia's freshman year of undergrad, her father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. After suffering two relapses years later, he received a stem cell donation from Nia and has since been in remission.
Credit: Frank L. Franklin, from New York, won her title in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first woman also to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit. Garris, from New Haven, Connecticut, won her crown in April, and hopes to become a trauma nurse.
But I know that every single girl here tonight is welcome back into the family, to come and visit whenever and they have sisters for life. Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action. Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
First competition was held in and broadcasted live. Young participants in the contest answer questions from judges and defile semifinalist in swimsuit and evening gown. West was the first contestant from the state of Connecticut to win the title.
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Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to win the Miss America title in Last week, for the first time, black women wore the crowns of all three major pageants simultaneously. The three wins have become a powerful symbol of how much American views on beauty have evolved from a past marred by racism and gender stereotypes, even as black women leaders are still severely underrepresented in other fields, like corporate America or in Congress.
Garris is the first winner since to wear a natural hairstyle at the pageant. Speaking to Refinery29, Garris said she started relaxing her hair at the age of 6, but was later inspired by a friend to go natural. Read more: A reporter in Florida is celebrating wearing braids for the first time after being on air for a decade. Now, as Miss Teen USAGarris is hoping to change the stereotypical beauty ideals expected of pageant contestants.