By Funmilola Olukomaiya
For the first time in history, Miss America, Miss USA and Mis Teen USA are all black women as it seems 2019 ushered in an era when Black Women reign supreme!
Although we are witnessing the exaltation of Black women’s beauty, desirability, dignity and progress through recent public coronations by Eurocentric institutions (not the least of which was the Church of England), Black women have a long and rich legacy of claiming centre stage and crowning our own damn selves.
A Black opera singer, a Black lawyer and a Black high school student activist made History after being crowned Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, respectively.
Sharing their personal views as regards their crowns with Essence Magazine, Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019 said, “My title and my crown means a chance to be inclusive. It gives me the opportunity to represent a group that has not always been represented in this country,” while Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019 said, “Holding this title has made a difference in my life and the life of those around me, not only because I am a woman of colour but also because I am biracial,” and Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019 said, “Pageants weren’t always welcoming to women of colour. It took decades of persistence and courageous women showing the world a new kind of beauty.”
See photos from the shoot here:
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Photography: Timothy Smith
Styling: Mecca James Williams
Makeup: Tara Lauren, Jalessa Jaikaran & Billie Gene
Hair: Monaé Everett, Kendall Dorsey & Stephen Hudson
Set Design: JJ Chan