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Historical Facts

17 Aug 1968

todayAugust 17, 2022

Background

The first Miss Black America pageant takes place
At nearly three in the morning, Saundra Williams walked across a stage with a cream rhinestone cape around her shoulders, a sash across her torso and a scepter in her hand, ready to be crowned as pageant royalty. Though it was the same night as the Miss America pageant, Williams’ crowning wasn’t just about beauty. It was about protest.
She was the first Miss Black America, and her message was clear: Black is beautiful, too.

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