17.09.

1983: The First African American to Win Miss America

1983: The First African American to Win Miss America
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 17 September 1983
  • Interestingly, seven another African American women won the competition after Vanessa Williams. She started this trend.

The first African American Miss America, Vanessa Williams, won the competition on this day in 1983.

She became a famous singer and actress. Vanessa played her first major role in the film Eraser, with Arnold Schwarzenegger. She also starred in Desperate Housewives.

Interestingly, seven another African American women won the competition after Vanessa Williams, who started this trend.

Vanessa Williams was involved in the famous scandal with the publication of her nude photographs in Penthouse Magazine.

These photographs were taken before the mentioned competition. In fact, she never gave permission for their publication.

Vanessa worked as an assistant of the photographer who sold her photos Hugh Hefner refused to publish these photos because he knew that Vanessa did not give permission for their publication.

Due to this scandal, Vanessa resigned to the title of Miss America, and her first runner-up, who was also an African American, became the new Miss America.

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