|Subject: Black History Pioneers|
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Date Posted: 19:38:10 02/17/15 Tue
I'm an editorial writer and working on a book chronicling African American pioneers in domestic and international pageants. Throughout my research Ive discovered numerous pioneers that paved the way for women of color to be accepted universally in all aspects of pageantry competition.
The Miss America Organization has been extremely pivotal in fostering this inclusion. In 1970, Cheryl Brown a student from Iowa was the first African American state delegate to compete for the Miss America title. She was a ballerina and a talent non-finalist winner. Her when made huge headlines across the country because she was the first black women to compete for the national crown. In 1971, the following year Indiana sent an African American delegate named Kelly Patterson. Also, she was a non-finalist talent winner.
In 1973, Kentucky was the first southern state to send an African American delegate. In 1974, an African American women represented the state of Nebraska. In 1975, The original state winner was disqualified and a black women represented the state of Wyoming.
In 1976, the state of Delaware sent its first African American delegate. Also she became the first black women to make the semi finals. In 1979, Connecticut sent their first black delegate.
In the eighties our country moved closer to the ideal of inclusion. In 1980, Miss Arkansas and Miss Washington won talent and swimsuit prelimany competitions. Miss Arkansas Lencola Sullivan was the second African American to win in the south. She was polished and the fool package. The black press and radio encouraged the African American community to watch that year because we all thought that she would win. She became the first black to make it into the top five.
In 1981, Connecticut and Maryland were African American. Neither of them placed that year. In 1983, an unprecedented four African American women competed in the national pageant. It was the strongest group of black women to compete in the history of the pageant. Miss. New York and Miss New Jersey won preliminaries and North Carolina and Maryland were exceptional. History was made and Miss America and her first runner up we're African America and elected by an all white judges panel. All four women was popular and in demand during there year of service. We all know what happen to Vanessa Williams. It was devastating for the black community but she rebounded well.
In 1984, a unprecedented six African American women competed for the crown. Miss Illinois, Alaska, DC, Minnesota, Oregon and Louisiana. Miss Minnesota won talent and was third runner up. Miss Alaska won A talent non-finalist award. I was stunned the Miss Louisiana didn't make it because she was outstanding. She did very well for herself post pageant.
In 1985, Miss DC was the lone delegate that year. In 1987, Miss California, Colorado and Mississippi were black. All them of them were from powerhouse states and the press ate it up. They were profiled in countless news papers and magazines all over the country. They received so much press coverage because of there historic state wins. Miss Mississippi and Colorado both placed in the top five. This was the first time that two African Americans became finalist.
In 1989, Miss Missouri, Oregon and DC were black. There were many rumors after preliminaries that Miss Missouri had it in the bag. I received a call from a regional director from Missouri who called me after there state pageant and indicated that Miss America had been crowned that night. The state of Arkansas hated that losing Debbye Turner but they supported he at nationals. I will continue with the achievements throughout the nineties tomorrow.
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- Suggest you proofread tis before submitting to your professor. (NT) -- No name, 19:44:15 02/17/15 Tue
- The correct spelling of Miss Iowa of 1970's LAST name is 'Browne'. Cheryl was the first African American to compete for Miss America. (NT) -- Proof Source: 1970 MAO Program Book, 19:50:32 02/17/15 Tue
- "Her when made huge headlines..." (NT) -- LMAO, 19:55:50 02/17/15 Tue
- "Also she became the first black women..." (NT) -- No name, 20:00:35 02/17/15 Tue
- "She was polished and the fool package." (NT) -- No name, 20:02:16 02/17/15 Tue
- What a joke. This person is definitely not an editorial writer. (NT) -- No name, 20:03:54 02/17/15 Tue
- Miss WY 1974 was the black (replacement) winner. Does anyone know what the issue was with the original winner? (NT) -- 1976 was the first year with 2 black state contestants - Miss Nebraska & Miss Delaware., 20:24:26 02/17/15 Tue
- You need to add all the contestants names after their titles. (NT) -- No name, 20:25:20 02/17/15 Tue
- Your statement pertaining to MS and CO being the first 2 Blacks to make the Top 5 is incorrect. Reread your own post for the correct answer. (NT) -- No name, 20:37:53 02/17/15 Tue
- I'll have to double check this, but one of the early black state reps received a special "judges' award" that was never made clear as to why it as given. I remember Susan Supernaw, native American Miss Oklahoma, mentions this in her book since she also received one. Susan said she and the other recipients (there was a third) were never told why they were chosen. That would have been 1971 I think. (NT) -- No name, 21:09:06 02/17/15 Tue
- Pat Patterson, Miss Indiana in 1971, received the so-called judges' award, although the state pageant website calls it a special talent award; she did not win non-finalist talent, which was a different award given (I'll have to re-watch my dvd from that year, but I think that is how it as announced). (NT) -- No name, 21:18:44 02/17/15 Tue
- Linda Smith, Alaska, was the third one. They also had non finalist talent winners that yrear, so the Judges Special apparently did not mean for talent. (NT) -- No name, 07:43:19 02/18/15 Wed
- 1971 Judges Special Awards, AK, OK, IN. erhaps it was because it was an eskimo, an indian and a black person. If that was the criteria, that would be horribly racist. (NT) -- No name, 11:27:32 02/22/15 Sun
- In 1968 Albert Marks created a $1000 scholarship to promote African American contestants. The Judges Special scholarships may have been part of that promotion. It was a different time, there was much controversy over the "lily-white" remarks from the ethnic communities and probably the MAO was trying to do the right thing for that time. (Just speculating) (NT) -- No name, 12:57:10 02/23/15 Mon
- I am certain Miss Alaska 1971, Linda Smith was NOT an Eskimo. She was from a Navy family and graduated from Niceville High School in Niceville, Florida. After high school, she and her family transferred to Alaska. Her local title at the Miss Alaska pageant was Miss Elmendorf Air Force Base. No explanation was ever offered as to why the award was given. The Judges Speial Award was given in 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1971. No explanation was ever given for any of the winners. (NT) -- Tom Moletteire, 11:12:44 02/27/15 Fri
- Think the other posting "African American History Month" has some major "pioneers", African American contestants competing much earlier than 1970, especially in 1948 and the 1950's. There was a contestant in the Miss Knoxville Tennessee pageant in 1964, maybe you should include writing about some of them too. (NT) -- No name, 08:42:10 02/18/15 Wed
- Tom, if you are writing a book about pioneers in integrated pageants you should include Dorothy Derrick, who placed second in the Flushing New York Fiesta Queen contest in 1924. There were several non-MAO college queens in the 1950's. Miss Subways 1948 Thelma Porter. In 1959 Cecelia Cooper won Miss Cannes Film Festival, the first African American to win an international pageant. The next year 1960 LaJeune Hundley won Miss Cannes Film Festival. Also, in 1946 illustrator Russell Patterson and Yankees owner Doug Hertz were promoting for African American contestants to compete for Miss America. Note that old Jet Magazines and the Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper are great sources of information. (NT) -- No name, 08:57:18 02/18/15 Wed
- Miss Connecticut 1981 was NOT African-American--neither was '80 nor '82 in case the writer was confused. (NT) -- No name, 17:25:30 02/18/15 Wed
- Slightly off topic but wasn't there a Miss USA Pageant about 10-15 years ago in which four of the top five were African American? I am thinking that one of them won, like maybe Miss District of Columbia? (NT) -- Had to be a first, 00:03:36 02/19/15 Thu
- Believe Tom meant in 1981 New Hampshire, Natalie Oliver.& also Robin Harmon, Maryland'81. Other corrections: Pat Patterson, Indiana '71; Cheryl Johnson, Wyoming'74, assumed crown after Vicki Tomiseck declined because of "personal reasons"; Deborah Lipford, Delaware'76, made top 10 & Marion Watson, Nebraska, who won NFT for singing Over the Rainbow; Mary Alice Flintroy, Connecticut'78; Sheliah Wilkins, Colorado'79. (NT) -- No name, 12:57:47 02/19/15 Thu
- I was going to say the same thing. I don't believe the Caruso sisters were African-American, but of Italian descent. (NT) -- Twinx, 13:16:39 02/23/15 Mon
- Miss Colorado 1988. Maya Walker. (NT) -- Tom Moletteire, 15:55:00 02/19/15 Thu
- On a related note--when Wayne Brady hosted the Miss America pageant---did he not become the first black man to host a major (and televised) pageant? (NT) -- Be it Miss America, Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen-USA, America's Junior Miss or Mrs. America/Mrs. World...Wayne was the first, correct?, 17:37:04 02/24/15 Tue
- Shemar Moore hosted the 1999 Miss USA Pageant. I'm assuming he was the first black male to host a televised pageant (NT) -- MsS♥, 18:37:13 02/24/15 Tue
- Maya would have won that pageant if there were just a single panel I have no doubt. (NT) -- No name, 08:02:29 02/25/15 Wed
- And wasn't there some shady business about interview scores or something? (NT) -- No name, 08:11:39 02/25/15 Wed
- In his book, "Hype and Glory," William Goldman, who was a prelim judge at Miss America that year, explained that despite what the preliminary judges were told, that year they didn't carry over the interview scores to the final night. If they had, it's his assessment that Maya would have won, not Gretchen, because Gretchen's interview wasn't good. (NT) -- No name, 10:23:46 02/25/15 Wed
- I think the year that they had some shady business about the interview scores was Kay Lani's year. What they said on the telecast is not what was in the program book or what everyone was told leading up to the finals. (NT) -- No name, 18:40:06 02/28/15 Sat
- That's the issue of asking this question and saying African American. Who does that include? It would be more inclusive to ask "of African descent" and then you don't exclude anyone or have to make guesses about their parentage. (NT) -- No name, 15:07:13 03/01/15 Sun
- Is there a reason perhaps besides Gretchen's primetime anchor position for why the (NT) -- Miss America pageant has her back each year to appear on the Miss America telecast?, 16:59:24 02/26/15 Thu
- Prior to Wayne Brady hosting Miss America in 2002, Shemar Moore hosted Miss Universe in 1998 and Sinbad in 2000. In 2002, Naomi Campbell became the first (and so far only) black woman to host a major televised pageant when she hosted Miss Universe. She share the duties the cohosting duties with fellow supermodel Elle McPhearson! (NT) -- No name, 13:42:05 03/01/15 Sun