For the first time in history, the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America titles are all held by black women. Chelsie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, is a 28 year-old from North Carolina. She is a successful civil litigation attorney who also enjoys blogging about workplace style. One of her law clients is actually Miss America 2019, Nia Franklin! Chelsie is also the oldest woman to ever be crowned Miss USA, so she’s breaking all kinds of records.
Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019, is a 25 year-old musician from New York. She entered the pageant world when she needed financial support for college after her father was diagnosed with a form of cancer. Nia is an advocate for the inclusion of arts as an important part of education. She was a part of the first Miss America pageant that did not have a swimsuit portion of the competition.
Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019, is a 18 year-old high school student from Connecticut. Kaliegh created her advocacy program called “We Are People 1st” in honor of her older sister who has multiple disabilities. She began the movement to educate youth how to respectfully speak to people with a health issue or disability after seeing the need for it throughout her life. She is a talented dancer and hopes to become a trauma nurse. She’s also made waves by wearing her natural curly hairstyle on stage.
These three women have each made history in their various competitions for many reasons besides their race. Although none of them are the first Black women to have been crowned the winner in any of their respective competitions, this marks the first time in history that all three titles have been held by a black woman at once. It’s unfortunate it took this long for this to occur, but nonetheless, this is an excellent stride in the right direction for representation of black women. Huge congratulations to Chelsie, Nia, and Kaliegh, who have worked incredibly hard for these titles! You all are examples to young girls around the country (and world) that beauty, intelligence, and hard work go a long way.