The Business of Beauty: 7 Black Beauty Queens Who Used Their Brains to Make a Difference

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Ericka Dunlap

Born in 1981, Ericka Dunlap broke a 68-year old color barrier by becoming the first black Miss Florida in 2004.  The same year, she became the seventh black woman to be crowed Miss America.  Following her reign, she (and her husband at the time) competed on the 15th season of The Amazing Race.  The couple finished in third place. Dunlap explained her motivation for enduring the Emmy-winning-but-grueling reality TV show as such: “I’m intelligent and I’m talented and I’m confident . . . I’m not just pretty. ‘Pretty’ is a matter of painting on a face. At the end of the day, I’m a scholarship winner, I’m not just a beauty queen.”

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