WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- This year’s Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA titles are all won by black women, marking a first in history.
- On Thursday evening, Cheslie Kryst, 28, of North Carolina and a full-time lawyer won over 50 other contenders and took home the Miss USA 2019 title.
- Kaliegh Garris from Connecticut was crowned Miss Teen USA on April 28 while classical opera singer Nia Imani Franklin of New York accepted the Miss America crown from her predecessor Cara Mund of North Dakota.
For the first time in history, 2019’s Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA are all black women.
The historical moment was firmly established on Thursday evening following Miss North Carolina, Cheslie Kryst being crowned Miss USA 2019 by her predecessor, Sarah Rose Summers, Miss USA 2018.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kryst bested other 50 contestants including second runner-up Miss Oklahoma, Triana Browne, and first runner-up Miss New Mexico, Alejandra Gonzalez.
Four days ago, Kaliegh Garris captured the Miss Teen USA crown, beating Miss North Dakota, Kaitlyn Vogel who took home the runner-up title. On April 28, after she tearfully accepted the crown, the Connecticut native took her first official walk as Miss Teen USA proudly showing off her voluminous, natural curls.
“I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, but with my curly hair, I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair,” shared Garris in an interview with Refinery29 adding that she prepped her locks before the competition.
As for the 2019 Miss America crown, Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund ended her reign when she relinquished her crown this past September to Miss New York, Nia Imani Franklin.
According to her Miss USA bio, Kryst is a “full-time attorney who is licensed to practice law in two states,” while Franklin is a “classically trained opera singer and advocate for the arts” as stated in her Miss America bio.
The three women’s historical wins follow Vanessa William’s Miss America title which she won in 1983 becoming the first black woman to nab the crown. In 1990, Carole Gist was crowned the first black Miss USA winner who later got the first runner-up title in Miss Universe, while the first black Miss Teen USA titlist was Janel Bishop in 1991.