Last night, Black women dominated in the Miss USA pageant. Throughout the two-hour telecast, the 51 contestants were cut down to semifinalists and then finalists, each competing in swimsuit and evening gown segments. As the competition whittled down to the final five, three Black women were left standing on the stage: Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst, Miss Nevada Tianna Tuamoheloa, and Miss Oklahoma Triana Browne. Ultimately, Miss North Carolina — a full-time attorney — walked away with the Miss USA title.
In the 67-year history of the Miss USA pageant, many Black women have worn the crown. Carole Anne-Marie Gist was the first to take it in 1990, and more recently women like Deshauna Barber and Kára McCullough have taken the Miss USA title. But what made last night extra special was the fact that Kryst was handed a bouquet of flowers by Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris, a young Black woman who won her pageant earlier in the week. One Twitter user summed up our feelings exactly: “All these Black women snatching these crowns, literally. I love it! Miss Teen USA, now Miss USA are both Black women!”
It didn’t take long for Twitter to realize that, on the other side of the pageant spectrum, the current Miss America Nia Franklin is also Black. That’s three Black queens — Miss USA, Miss America, and Miss Teen USA — serving simultaneously for the first time ever.
for the first time in history, 3 black women hold the titles for Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America. We STAN for a black queen and we got three? pic.twitter.com/9bqDT71Mw5
— Aj ◟̽◞̽ (@kirkkpatyy) May 3, 2019
Congrats to Miss USA , Miss Teen, and Miss America ❤️ Beautiful black women, so proud in this moment.
— Shosho (@foshooo91) May 3, 2019
Although I feel some type of way about pageants, I’m excited that today I woke up in a world where the norm is, “Black is beautiful”. In case you didn’t know, Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA are all Black women. Black Girls for the win! ?? #BlackGirlMagic
— Terza A. Silva Lima-Neves, PhD (@DrTLimaNeves) May 3, 2019
Making an even stronger statement, both the new Miss Teen USA and Miss USA were crowned wearing their natural curls, obliterating the myth that straight hair is more likely to win. “There were a few naysayers saying, ‘You look better with straight hair,’ or ‘You should put in extensions and straighten your natural hair,” Garris told Refnery29, but she is looking forward to how her win will change that perception. “Being able to spread the message of diversity, being yourself, and being confident in your curly, natural hair is something that I’m really looking forward to with my new national title.”
Warms my heart seeing Miss USA and Miss Teen USA proudly rocking natural hair ❤️?❤️?
— EJ Lee, Esq. (@ejleelaw) May 3, 2019
Miss Teen USA 2019 AND …read more