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For the first time, Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA are all black women

12:20, Monday, 06 May, 2019
For the first time, Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA are all black women

For the first time, America's top beauty pageants -- Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America -- have crowned black women as their winners at the same time.

And that's a big deal if you know pageant history.

Beauty pageants early in their histories, some dating back to the 1920s, barred women of color from participating. Even after organizations began changing their rules to accept women of all races, there was still a lingering frustration and opposition to join.

Only in the last 50 years have black women become more prevalent in these competitions. Vanessa Williams was the first black Miss America in 1983, and Carole Anne-Marie Gist, the first black Miss USA contestant, was crowned in 1990. The following year Janel Bishop became the first black Miss Teen USA.

So when Cheslie Kryst was named 2019's Miss USA on Thursday, she became part of a historic trio, along with 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris and 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin.

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