The well-known “rule No. 7” which had been added to the Miss America rule book in 1930, when Lenora Slaughter was the pageant’s director stated, “contestants must be of good health, and the white race.”
“It wasn’t just that black women could not compete,” J. Morris Anderson, the founder of Miss Black America competition claimed. “Black women themselves had been brainwashed by negative propaganda. We sought to change the minds of black people and turn that around.”
He started the competition not as a protest against Miss America but as a protest against serious social injustice with detrimental consequences.
Now the organisation is going strong. It has grown and transformed through the years. It celebrated it’s anniversary several days ago, but the shadow of segregation is still upon it. Now it is possible for any girl regardless her skin color to become Miss America, but each Miss Black America knows that a part of her mission is to make the crown less heavy for the next beauty queen.