For the first time in history, three black women have been crowned as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America. That’s a big deal if you know pageant history.
Cheslie Kryst’s win on Thursday as 2019’s Miss USA helped create the historic moment.
The Miss America pageant didn’t allow women of color to participate until the 1940s.
Actress Vanessa Williams was the first black woman to win Miss America back in 1983, but she was forced to resign her post after earlier nude photos surfaced.
The Miss USA contest didn’t have a black woman win until 1990, and a year later Miss Teen USA followed.
Joining the newly crowned Miss USA in this historic trio is 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris and 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin.
Kryst is a 27-year-old lawyer from North Carolina who represents prison inmates for free and will now advance to the Miss Universe competition.
Franklin was crowned in September, and Garris looks forward to becoming a trauma nurse, won last April.
“Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women,” said Kryst, after accepting her crown. “I’m looking forward to continued progress in my generation.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) celebrated the historic beauty pageant victories of three black women in a Instagram post.
“For the first time in history, Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA are all Black women,” she wrote. “What a tremendous moment for these young, successful women making their own path, on their own terms.”
“Truly amazing to see. Nia, Cheslie, and Kaliegh: you are trailblazers, creating your own path on your own terms. Congratulations!” she added.