Miss Black America Success Story: Bernadette Stanis

Bernadette Stanis Entered Miss Black America pageants as a teen, and as Miss Brooklyn eventually won first runner-up in the Miss New York State contest.   Auditioned for role of Thelma Evans on the CBS comedy series Good Times while still in college. Won the part and made her TV-series debut when it premiered in 1974. In the late 1990s, appeared in a hip-hop music video for Camp Lo with former Good Times costar Jimmie Walker. Produced several plays, including Whatever Happened to Black Love.   In 2006 released first book, Situations 101: Relationships The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.


The former Miss Black New York was our first sex symbol. She showed mainstream America that the stereotypes of folks that lived in the ghetto were wrong. There were beautiful peeps there in body, mind and spirit who had hopes, dreams, aspirations, integrity and class. We had the pleasure of seeing her on the small screen for seven seasons until Good Times went off the air in 1979.

"I wanted to be in beauty pageants, but Miss Black America was only for older girls. They didn’t have anything for teenagers and my mom told me they should have something for teenagers. She went to the office of Hal Jackson and said, “There are a lot of young black girls who are trying to make it. They are beautiful and they have things to offer and we should encourage them and have a Miss Black Teen America.” And the very next year, he had it" -Bernadette Stanis, Good Times


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