Queens! Pictured Above (L-R) Cheslie Kryst Miss USA.; Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019; and Kaleigh Garris Miss Teen USA.
For the first time in history, all three winners of the Miss Teen USA, Miss America and Miss USA are African-American women.
First, Nia Franklin was crowned as Miss America 2019 back in September 2018. The 23-year-old from New York not only won the crown, but took home a whopping $50,000 college scholarship to continue her education.
Franklin plans on bringing her “passion for music and performance to advocate for the inclusion of arts as an important part of education. For the talent portion of the competition, Nia chose a classical vocal performance.” Franklin is also a graduate of The University of North Carolina School of Arts where she majored in music composition.
Earlier this week, 18-year-old Connecticut native Kaleigh Garris was crowned Miss Teen USA, the second woman since 1999 to win rocking her natural hair.
Garris recently told Refinery 29 there were some haters that tried to pressure her to straighten her tresses during the televised competition. But she relented and stayed true to herself.
“The night before, I finger curled every single piece of my hair in the shower, which led to a very long shower, but it was for the greater good,” Garris told the site.
“I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”
Garris stressed that by choosing to be her natural self, she is setting an example for others and validating women who look like her.
“As Miss Connecticut Teen USA, there are girls who would look at me in awe because they’ve always had the image of straight hair in pageants,” she said.
“Being able to spread the message of diversity, being yourself, and being confident in your curly, natural hair is something that I’m really looking forward to with my new national title.”
And finally on Thursday (May 3), Cheslie Kryst from North Carolina was crowned Miss USA. The 27-year-old lawyer earned a law degree and an MBA at Wake Forest University before becoming a civil litigation attorney who does pro bono work to reduce sentences for inmates.
During the competition, Kyrst was asked how she would define her generation. Her response centered on diversity and progress.
“I’m standing here in Nevada, in the state that has the first female majority legislature in the entire country,” she said at the event held for the first time in Reno.
“Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. I’m looking forward to continued progress in my generation.