Who have been the African American Miss USA winners?
Miss USA 1990 (Michigan), Carole Gist
Carole Gist is the first African American woman to win the Miss USA title. She was also the first contestant from Michigan to win Miss USA, and broke the five-year streak of winners from Texas.
She is a graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit. At the time of her coronation, she was a junior marketing and management major at Northwood University at Midland, Michigan.
Miss USA 1993 (Michigan), Kenya Moore
At 22, Kenya Moore won Miss Michigan USA (1993) and then became the second African American woman to win Miss USA. She then represented the United States in the Miss Universe 1993 pageant and placed sixth.
She currently stars in the Bravo TV series The Real Housewives of Atlanta and was a member of the cast of The Celebrity Apprentice 7 (2015).
Miss USA 1995 (Texas) and Miss Universe 1995, Chelsi Smith
Smith was born in Redwood City, California, to 19-year-old parents Craig Smith, an African-American maintenance man, and Denise Trimble, a White American secretary.
After becoming Miss USA, Smith traveled to Windhoek, Namibia to compete in the 1995 Miss Universe pageant, becoming the first Miss USA to capture the Miss Universe crown in 15 years.
Miss USA 2000 (Tennessee), Lynette Cole
The fourth Black Miss USA winner is Lynette Cole, crowned in 2000. She was the first woman from the state of Tennessee to win the Miss USA competition.
Since winning Miss USA, Cole has become a television host for NBC, CMT, ESPN, MTV, VH-1 and made many appearances on As the World Turns. Along with her hosting career, she has appeared in numerous print advertising campaigns and commercials.
Miss USA 2002 (District of Columbia), Shauntay Hinton
Born and reared in her native Starkville, Mississippi, Shauntay Renae Hinton stepped into the national spotlight as Miss USA 2002. After attending Howard University in Washington D.C. with a major in broadcast journalism, she used her communication skills along with the coveted title of Miss USA to work on behalf of charitable organizations.
Shauntay is credited for helping to raise $34 million for all her charitable causes in 2002.
Miss USA 2007 (Tennessee), Rachel Smith
Smith was born on a U.S. Army base in Panama. She lived in Clarksville after her parents were stationed at Fort Campbell. She is multiracial (White, Black, and Native American), She attended Clarksville Academy and graduated from Davidson Academy for high school.
Smith represented Tennessee in the Miss USA 2007 pageant on March 23, 2007, at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, where she became the second titleholder from Tennessee to win the Miss USA crown.
Miss USA 2008 (Texas), Crystle Stewart
On April 11, 2008 Stewart represented Texas in the Miss USA 2008 pageant where she became the ninth Texan to win the Miss USA title. Additionally, Stewart graduated from Barbizon Modeling and Acting School in Houston.
Stewart currently portrays the character real estate agent Leslie Morris on the OWN/TBS comedy-drama television series Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse.
Miss USA 2012 (Maryland), Nana Meriwether (1st Runner-up at Miss USA, took over Miss USA crown when Olivia Culpo won Miss Universe)
Meriwether represented Maryland at Miss USA 2012 where she eventually finished at 1st runner-up to Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island. On December 19, 2012, Olivia Culpo won the title of Miss Universe 2012. Due to pageant protocol, Miss USA must resign her title in order to fulfill her duties as Miss Universe. The 1st runner-up assumes the title of Miss USA, meaning that Meriwether is the new Miss USA 2012.
Miss USA 2016 (District of Columbia), Deshauna Barber
Barber joined the United States Army Reserve at age 17. She attended Virginia State University and graduated with a degree in business management.
On June 5, 2016, Barber competed in the Miss USA 2016 pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada. She went on to win the competition, beating out first runner-up Chelsea Hardin of Hawaii and second runner-up Emanii Davis from Georgia. She was crowned by outgoing Miss USA, Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma.