New York marketing executive, Ryann Richardson, has been crowned Miss Black America 2018-2019.
Richardson, 28, won the title Saturday night at the pageant’s 50th annual celebration in Kansas City, Missouri.
Reigning queen, Brittany Lewis, passed the crown during the ceremony at the GEM Theater.
Founded in 1968, the first Miss Black America pageant was held in Atlantic City at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, just blocks away from the Miss America pageant, to protest its lack of black contestants.
In recent years, the pageant has undergone a “rebirth” to “uplift the black community,” organizers told Mic.com.
In 1968, Saundra Williams was crowned the first winner. Since then, Oprah Winfrey, Toni Braxton and Good Times actress, Bernadette Stanis, have competed for the title.
The judges at Saturday’s ceremony included model-actress Claudia Jordan, record producer Mike Zombie, Revolt TV executive Ebony Haley, record executive Andre Williams, 1991 Miss Black America Sharmell Sullivan and 8-year-old child prodigy Amoy Antunet.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Richardson currently lives in Brooklyn, and is a marketing vice president at technology company, Victor. She has an undergraduate degree in business and marketing from Jefferson University.
In addition to the title, she was awarded a 2018 Ford Escape, a role in an upcoming movie, artist development by major talent agencies, trips to Cuba and the Cayman Islands and other prizes.
One of the highlights of the 50th anniversary pageant was a reunion of eight previous winners.