“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair is never considered to be beautiful and I think that it is time that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.” -Zozibini Tunzi
May 5, 2019
Despite a long history of segregation and racism, America’s top pageants have broken racial barriers in recent decades. Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to win the Miss America title in 1984. Carole Gist won Miss USA in 1990. Janel Bishop won Miss Teen USA in 1991.
Each competition has had multiple black winners since.
Last week, for the first time, black women wore the crowns of all three major pageants simultaneously.
ESSENCE Video shoot and interview: