Last night, North Carolina’s Chelsie Kryst made history when she was announced as Miss USA. Not only was she the latest Black woman to wear the crown, she helped pull off a historic trifecta.
For the first time ever, three Black women are currently wearing crowns as the 2019 Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.
Kryst joined pageant winners 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin (pictured) and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris.
Kryst is a civil litigation attorney who received her law degree and MBA from Wake Forest University. During the pageant, fans of Kryst noticed that she wore her natural hair and unlike prior contests, she joined Garris in bypassing the need to straighten their hair in favor of their natural look.
Garris spoke to Refinery21 about her decision saying, “There were a few naysayers saying, ‘You look better with straight hair,’ or ‘You should put in extensions and straighten your natural hair. 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. 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.”
The closest Black women had to completing the trifecta before last night was in 2012 when Black women simultaneously wore crowns as Miss Teen USA and Miss USA.