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. 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, the day before CBS televised Miss America.
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.
Miss Black America Wikipedia