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Carole Gist, 1st African American Miss USA, Dominates RHOA Reunion 2013

Carole Gist, 1st African American Miss USA, Dominates RHOA Reunion 2013

LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Who was the first African American Miss USA? Carole Gist was the first African American Miss USA, while Vanessa Williams is the first African American Miss America, RHOA fans were reminded last night. Porsha Stewart tried to create a history debate with Kenya Moore Sunday. But Moore took her fan and blew Porsha’s debate agenda into the wind, fabulously.

Carole Gist has yet to comment about RHOA Reunion 2013 telecast (update below). But Porsha Stewart tried to evoke a history debate in last night’s RHOA reunion. Porsha asked Kenya why she keeps on mentioning Vanessa Williams but not Carole Gist. Porsha then claimed Kenya allegedly said this season that she asserts to be the first Black Miss USA.

Kenya Moore, when offered an opportunity to respond to Porsha, declined. But last night, Kenya took to Twitter about the matter. Moore’s fans claimed foul against Porsha.

Kenya retweeted one fan’s correct comment “you always said you were the 2nd African American Miss USA but are the FIRST BROWN ONE and that means something.” Kenya also tweeted another fan’s remarks “Porsha must be infatuated with @KenyaMoore. She love arguing with and insulting her.”

Despite Porsha’s poor attempt at a history debate on a reality TV program, one thing is clear. Search results do go back that far, even for persons in the forties, despite Porsha’s age comments this season.

In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first African-American Miss America; she is now 50 years old. Carole Gist, now age 43, became the first African American woman to win the Miss USA title in 1990. And Kenya Moore, age 42, won the Miss USA title in 1993. Kenya also finished sixth in the Miss Universe, another massive achievement often not mentioned on RHOA this season as well. UPDATE: See below in the comments section a statement from Ms. Gist to LALATE readers.


  1. RDCobbs

    June 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I can attest to Carol being the 1st African-American Miss USA and 1st Runner Up in the Miss Universe competition, which she should have won, but I’m confident that race played a factor in her not winning (because the answer given by the winner was ridiculous, lol). As a male, I watched her competing like it like the Super Bowl.

    Carol and I became good friends the summer in which she worked in my home town at Cedar Point Amusement Park. She, at no time at the early age of 18, ever considered herself as being anything more than a very ambitions “Black” girl (that’s how we described ourselves back then). While working at Cedar Point, she was actually competing in Detroit’s Miss Black World (I could be incorrect on the title of that pageant). As we h*** out during that summer, I asked her if it was her goal to win pageants and become a model. It was her answer that blew me away! She shared with me that she was utilizing her God’s gifts to win these pageants so she could win the grand prize. The Grand Prize of what??? Fame/Fortune??? No!!! The reason she wanted to win was for the grand prize of a scholarship, so she could pursue her dream of a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. That answer “floored me” and became one of the most endearing characteristics about Carol that I grew to love. I lost touch with my good friend after I graduated college, but I wish her the best.

    Just wanted to provide my insight, because I was there and witnessed the entire process, as a friend and a fan.

  2. Marv

    January 27, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I’d like to add another perspective, albeit several months later, to this conversation. Missing from this dialogue is the fact that between 1989 and 1993, five black women reigned as America’s sweethearts in two of our most iconic cultural institutions: Miss America and Miss USA.

    Missouri’s Debbye Lynn Turner was crowned “Miss America 1990″ in September, 1989; the third African-American to hold that honor. Then, the following April, Carole Anne-Marie Gist of Detroit, Michigan becomes the first black woman crowned as “Miss USA,” in 1990. It marked the first time in history that two black women reigned simultaneously.

    Then, before we could even catch our breath, Marjorie Judith Vincent of Illinois succeeds Turner as “Miss America 1991.” Nobody saw that one coming. Two back to back black Miss Americas. Wow.!!!!
    A minor lull in 1992. But, in April, 1993, another Detroit native, Kenya Summer Moore, becomes the second sista crowned as “Miss USA 1993.” Culminating in September, 1993 with the selection of the fifth black crowned Miss America, Kimberly Clarice Aiken of South Carolina, as “Miss America 1994.”

    I think Kenya missed an opportunity to “school” Porscha, Phaedra, NeNe; Cynthia, and Kandi, that her victory, along with the other phyne ladies of the beauty queen sistahood, changed the perception of American beauty standards. Brown and chocolate sistas finally earned some respect. Not only were Kenya and the others beautiful, but they were educated as well, quashing the beauty queen “bimbo” image.

    Meanwhile, also at that time, Naomi Campbell was regarded as the world’s number one super-model. Another beauty standards breakthrough. Whoopi Goldberg also won an Academy Award Oscar in ’91. Another example of a woman who didn’t fit America’s Eurocentric beauty standards. Kenya missed a huge opportunity…I’m just sayin….

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