Miss Black America

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Not to be confused with Miss Black USA Pageant.
For the British musical band, see Miss Black America (band).

The Miss Black America pageant is the original competition for young African American women in areas such as speech, talent, style, and poise — it is essentially the black version of the popular Miss America pageant. Throughout the years the pageant has featured and garnered the support of the some of the most prominent artists, activists, performers of our time including Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and Oprah Winfrey. With a rich history of over 40 years of excellence, in 2009 the pageant had its "kick off" in Washington, D.C. to rebrand the competition for the new generation. The first teen winner was Ashley Anglin. The first runner up teen was Monet Jackson, a resident of Mitchellville, MD, and Destiny Welch second runner up also a MD resident. The adult winner was DC native and MD resident, Miss Kamilla Collier-Mullin. The first runner up Miss Cherie A. Bryant a northern Virginia resident and the second runner up Miss Janesia Simmons in the adult pageant.


It was originally a local Philadelphia area contest to protest the lack of black women in the Miss America pageant. J. Morris Anderson created and produced the Miss Black America Pageant on August 17, 1968 at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlantic City.[1] With support from Phillip H. Savage, Tri-State Director of the NAACP, the pageant received nationwide press coverage as a protest against the Miss America Pageant, an event that Mr. Savage and other NAACP leaders had long condemned for exclusion of black women contestants.

In September 1977, NBC televised the Miss Black America contest,[2] the day before CBS televised Miss America.

The winners[edit]

Claire Ford, 1977 Miss Black America, during a USO show, 1978.
YearMiss Black AmericaHometown
1968Saundra WilliamsPennsylvania
1969Gloria O. SmithNew York
1970Stephanie ClarkDC
1971Joyce WarnerFlorida
1972Linda BarneyNew Jersey
1973Arniece RussellNew York
1974Von Gretchen ShepardLos Angeles, California
1975Helen Jean FordHattiesburg, Mississippi
1976Twanna KilgoreWashington, D.C.
1977Claire FordMemphis, Tennessee
1978Lydia JacksonWillingboro, New Jersey
1979Varetta ShankleMississippi
1980Sharon WrightChicago, Illinois
1981Yvette CasonWashington, District of Columbia
1982Susan WellsMilwaukee, Wisconsin
1983Sonya RobinsonMilwaukee
1984Lydia S.GarrettColumbia, South Carolina
1985Amina FakirDetroit, Michigan
1986Rachel OliverBurlington, North Carolina
1987Leila McBrideDenver, Colorado
1988Regina WallaceFlorida
1989Paula GwynnWashington DC
1990Rosie JonesBridgeport, Connecticut
1991Sharmell SullivanGary, Indiana
1992Marilyn DeShieldsVirginia, Richmond
1994Pilar G. FortDetroit, Michigan
1995Karen D. WallaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma
1996Basheerah AhmadChoctaw, Oklahoma
1997Karen Brimley-MasseyWest Helena, Arkansas
1999Neda KassimMinneapolis
2000Alecia Roushayjacksonville, Florida
2001Tandi Iman DupreeAtlanta
2007Gabrielle DeCuirNew Orleans
2010Ashley Anglin-TeenDC Metropolitan
2010Kamilla Collier-Mullin, AdultDC Metropolitan
2010Natasha Ashby - TeenPhiladelphia
2010Donielle Turner, AdultPhiladelphia
2011Alexandra Morton, AdultBaltimore

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Ritz - Carlton Hotel -Atlantic City". Historical Timeline. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Milestones". Miss Black America. Retrieved July 5, 2013.