Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

September 10, 2018  |  

Nia Imani Franklin

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 09: Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019 holds poses for photographers at the press conference after being crowned at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)

The 2019 Miss America ceremony got a heavy dose of #blackgirlmagic over the weekend as New York’s own Nia Imani Franklin was officially crowned with the legendary title.

The Miss America pageant just added another melanated queen to its distinguished line-up. During the 2019 ceremony Cara Munn officially passed the torch to Nia Imani Franklin from New York and crowned her Miss America 2019.

If you’ve been keeping up, then you’ll recall that the Miss America organization has struggled in recent years to modernize its image and connect with younger viewers who feel the pageant is outdated and out-of-touch. For this year’s ceremony, the biggest change that was made was the elimination of the previously popular swimsuit competition. In an effort to be seen as more than a beauty pageant that focuses on outer beauty, the Miss America organization decided to remove the once qualifying category all together.

The Miss America website has an official statement on the matter that reads:

“Starting this year, candidates will no longer be judged on outward appearance. The choice of wardrobe is now open so everyone can express their own very individual style. Throughout the competition, candidates will have opportunities to advocate for their social initiatives. And to demonstrate how they are uniquely qualified for the exciting, challenging 365-day job of Miss America.”

As for Franklin, she joins an illustrious list of black women who have be awarded the Miss America crown, including the first black woman to win, actress/singer Vanessa Williams who took the crown back in 1983. Of her win, Franklin expressed her appreciation and gratitude, stating “It took a lot of perseverance to get here and I just want to thank my beautiful family,” she said.

We want to congratulate Nia Imani Franklin on her inspiring win!

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