For black girls growing up with aspirations of being Miss America, the reality of racism proved to be an insurmountable object in 1968.
But that didn’t deter Philadelphia entrepreneur J. Morris Anderson from launching Miss Black America to give his daughter an opportunity to achieve her dreams while challenging the negative stereotypes attributed to black people. The pageant started at the end of the civil rights movement which was marred with even more unrest and activism. Anderson’s vision gave hope to an entire generation of African-Americans.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the pageant, a new Miss Black America was crowned at the Gem Theater in Kansas City, Missouri. Here’s to another 50 years of change!