American beauty pageants made history last week when Cheslie Kryst was named Miss USA. With her new crown in place, Kryst joined two other title-holders who shared one thing in common––they’re all Black women.

Nia Franklin took home the crown for 2019 Miss America back in September, followed by the recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris. Though Black women wore the crowns for Miss Teen USA and Miss USA back in 2012, this is the first time they took home the crown for all three pageants in the same year.


Kryst, who represents North Carolina, is a civil litigation attorney who received her law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University. She shook up social media when both she and Garris embraced their natural curls and inspired young girls everywhere to do the same.

In addition to being a full-time attorney, Kryst is also an aspiring fashion designer. She has designed a line of eveningwear out of clothes from Goodwill and a ballgown out of newspaper and glitter for Rock the Runway. Kryst will represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant later this year.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: MissUSA via Instagram



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