LetaAndKathy5and7In 1967, J. Morris Anderson, a Philadelphia entrepreneur asked two of his daughters who were five and seven years old at the time, “ “When you all are grown, what would you like to become?”

They both said, almost simultaneously “I want to be Miss America Daddy.”

Anderson, felt badly about the unattainable dreams of his precious daughters. The little girls weren’t aware that no black women had ever been allowed to compete in the Miss America Pageant or any other nationally televised pageant.

He did not want to crucify his daughters’ pompous dreams by revealing how fruitless it was to indulge in fancies of becoming “Miss America”. This fact, simply existed only because they were Black.

That’s when, the idea of staging a Miss Black America Pageant first hit Anderson.

I will create a Miss Black America Pageant, he thought. I will stage it on the same night as the Miss America Pageant, he planned. And I will stage it on the same boardwalk in Atlantic City New Jersey, right across from the Convention Center at the exact time, they’re having the Miss America Pageant for white women only.

Then, my daughters can say, “When I grow up, I want to be Miss Black America", he thought.

The Miss Black America Pageant is proud to celebrate almost 50 years of excellence. Our system is a familiar one to some, a fond, reminiscent memory to others, and yet a new, exciting opportunity for thousands of young, teens and women across the country today.

Founded in 1968 by J. Morris Anderson, the Miss Black America system was developed to reverse the negative propaganda of the Black woman and her role in America. Today, as our nation embraces Black beauty, we remain ever committed to the empowerment of women of color throughout America, representing all of our sisters of the African Diaspora.

It is with great enthusiasm that we launch "The Rebirth" of our pageant system, with all of its grace and opulence from years past. We encourage all young women, between the ages of 18-29 to join us as we continue the legacy ... of "Sowing the Seeds of Positivity and Reaping the Flowers of success."