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 some of the most prominent artists, activists, performers of our time including Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and Oprah Winfrey. With a rich history of more than 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 an 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.
Year Miss Black America Hometown
1968 Saundra Williams Pennsylvania
1969 Gloria O. Smith New York
1970 Stephanie Clark DC
1971 Joyce Warner Florida
1972 Linda Barney New Jersey
1973 Arniece Russell New York
1974 Von Gretchen Shepard Los Angeles, CA
1975 Donzeila Johnson Pennsylvania
1977 Claire Ford Memphis, Tennessee
1978 Lydia Jackson Willingboro, New Jersey
1979 Varetta Shankle Mississippi
1980 Sharon Wright Chicago, Illinois
1981 Yvette Cason Washington, District of Columbia
1982 Susan Wells Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1983 Sonya Robinson Milwaukee
1984 Lydia S.Garrett Columbia, South Carolina
1985 Amina Fakir Detroit, Michigan
1986 Rachel Oliver Burlington, North Carolina
1987 Leila McBride Denver, Colorado
1988 Regina Wallace Florida
1989 Paula Gwynn Washington DC
1990 Rosie Jones Bridgeport, Connecticut
1991 Sharmell Sullivan Gary, Indiana
1992 Marilyn DeShields Virginia, Richmond
1993 Leanza Cornett Jacksonville, Florida
1994 Pilar G. Fort Detroit, Michigan
1995 Karen D. Wallace Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1996 Basheerah Ahmad Choctaw, Oklahoma
1997 Karen Brimley-Massey West Helena, Arkansas
1998 Nicole Fisher {[Georgia]}
1999 Neda Kassim Minneapolis
2000 Alecia Roushay Jacksonville, Florida
2002 Crystal Spearman Marietta, Georgia
2003 Heiress Williams
2004 Unknown Unknown
2005 Unknown Unknown
2006 Unknown Unknown
2007 Gabrielle DeCuir New Orleans
2008 Unknown Unknown
2010 Ashley Anglin-Teen DC Metropolitan
2010 Kamilla Collier-Mullin, Adult DC Metropolitan
2010 Natasha Ashby - Teen Philadelphia
2010 Donielle Turner, Adult Philadelphia
2014 Alexandra Morton, Adult Baltimore
2015 Jelisa Barringer, Adult Ohio
2016 Nicole Lynette Hibbert, Adult Delaware

In popular culture[edit]

A short documentary on the Miss Black America pageant was produced by The Czar of Black Hollywood director Bayer Mack and released by Block Starz Music Television as part of its Profiles of African-American Success video series.[3] [4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Ritz-Carlton Hotel - Atlantic City" (PDF). Historical Timeline. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Milestones". Miss Black America. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Miss Black America: The Pageant Changed History". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-18. 
  4. ^ "Miss Black America Documentary". AASuccess.com. Retrieved 2016-12-18.