Miss World is 5th black woman to win major pageant in 2019

LONDON -- A Jamaican contestant was crowned Miss World Saturday, making all five of 2019's major pageant queens black women.

Toni-Ann Singh was crowned Miss World after beating out more than 100 other contestants over the last several weeks. This makes her the 69th winner of the longest-running international beauty pageant.

"I was shocked," she said. "I had to take a moment to say, 'They said Jamaica. They said Jamaica. So that means you and that means get out there.'"

The historic streak started with the crowning of four other winners in prestigious pageants: Miss Universe, Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. Many well-known pageants did not allow minorities and women of color in their early history.

  • Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi
  • Miss America Nia Imani Franklin
  • Miss USA Cheslie Kryst
  • Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris

  • "There was a time when we literally could not win. Like literally, the Miss America competition banned black women from competing. The Miss Universe organization did not crown a black Miss USA until 1990. There was no space for us," Kryst told ABC News after her crowning.

    Singh is a student at Florida State University studying women's studies and psychology.

    Kryst, 28, is a lawyer from Charlotte; Tunzi, a 26-year-old gender violence activist; and Garris, a 19-year-old Southern Connecticut State University student.
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