Toni-Ann Singh's Miss World Win Makes History With 5 Black Women Holding Major Pageant Titles

Jamaica's Toni-Ann Singh won the Miss World pageant last night, making her the fifth black woman to win a major pageant title this year. Read on below.

By kelli boyle Dec 16, 2019 4:44 PMTags

The 2019 pageant circuit was one for the history books.

On Sunday night, Jamaica's Toni-Ann Singh won the Miss World crown. Her win means that the titles of Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA have all gone to black women this year—an historic first!

And to celebrate her history-making win, the 23-year-old tweeted for the very first time.

Sharing a photo of herself in her glittering crown, the pageant queen wrote, "To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world—please believe in yourself. Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE."

Singh has now joined the ranks of Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, Miss America Nia Franklin, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garri. Kryst also competed in the Miss Universe pageant alongside Tunzi, making it all the way to the top 10.

Miss Universe 2019: Costumes

To celebrate her own historic win last week, Tunzi wrote about new doors of opportunity being opened.

As she wrote on Instagram, "Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!"


These wins mark a huge step in the right direction for diversity in the pageant world. According to The Washington Post, black women weren't allowed to compete in the beauty contests for decades after their creation.

It wasn't until 1970 that a woman of color was crowned the winner of one of the major titles for the first time when Jennifer Hosten of Grenada won Miss World. It would take another seven years for Miss Universe to do the same when crowning Janelle Commissiong of Trinidad. Vanessa Williams was the first black woman to be crowned Miss America in 1983. Carole Anne-Marie Gist was the first black Miss USA, crowned in 1990. And in 1991, Janel Bishop became the first black Miss Teen USA.

That all five of those titles have gone to black women this year is truly an unforgettable moment in history.

Congratulations to all of the winners!