Fierce

The Pageant Circuit Just Hit The Black Girl Magic Rizos Trifecta And I Am Sparkled

Three of the United States most watched beauty pageants just made the events a whole lot more colorful.

This week 28-year-old Charlotte, N.C. based attorney Cheslie Kryst was awarded the crown for Miss USA.

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Her win came following pageant victories of three other Black women, Kaleigh Garris for Miss Teen USA and Nia Imani Franklin for Miss America. It’s another big Black moment in pageant history that will see Kryst in a crow and off to represent our country in the Miss Universe pageant.

Kaleigh Garris, the winner of the Miss Teen USA title, wowed audiences earlier this week when she made her win while wearing her crown of natural curls.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsUDeNlFhU1/

“The night before, I finger curled every single piece of my hair in the shower, which led to a very long shower, but it was for the greater good,” Garris told Refinery29 in an interview. “I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”

Now, none of the women who won the pageants are Latino but its IMPERATIVE for our community that we receive this type of representation.

Black Latinos make up a significant aspect of the Latin American community but are so rarely represented and it’s imperative that Latinas with African roots be allowed to celebrate in these exciting Black moments!

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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Black Women Proved They Are the Backbone of the Democratic Party This Election

Things That Matter

Black Women Proved They Are the Backbone of the Democratic Party This Election

Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The election is finally over and the people have spoken. Former Vice President Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States.

When Joe Biden took the stage to give his acceptance speech after being announced the project winner of the 2020 election, he thanked his supporters, which he called “the broadest and most diverse coalition in history.” And finally, he said this: “Especially at those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the The African American community stood up again for me. You’ve always had my back, and I’ll have yours.”

But it was one group in particular that went above and beyond when it came to showing up for Joe Biden: Black women.

Exit polls show that 93% of Black women cast their vote for Joe Biden this year–more than any gender and ethnic subgroup. Because Black women showed up in large numbers and overwhelmingly cast their vote for Joe Biden this election, they may have single-handedly tipped the vote in his favor.

If you’ve followed the news closely, you know that it was key battleground states like Georgia and Pennsylvania decided this election. These states have major metropolitan cities like Atlanta and Philadelphia that have large Black populations. The Black women of these battleground states put in the work of organizing, campaigning, and rallying for the Democratric nominee.

As the news rolled in that Georgia–a state that has reliably gone red since 1992–was projected to flip blue, pundits and online commenters felt the need to give credit to Stacey Abrams. Abrams was the 2018 Democratic candidate for Georgia’s gubernatorial election.

After Abrams lost the election, she founded Fair Fight Action, an organization that aims to promote “fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.” Since its inception Fair Fight Action has registered an estimated 800,000 new voters.

The promising news is that it appears that Black women will no longer have to carry the Democratic party alone. In Arizona, Latinas also organized en masse, mobilizing their community with the express goal of getting Trump out of office. Latina activists helped to flip Arizona blue [note: as of November 9th, the AP still projects that Arizona will go blue).

The model of grassroots organization goes back to Black female activists like Stacey Abrams who believed in her community enough to fight for it. Abrams knew she was only one of thousands of women like her who wanted a better country, so she set about mobilizing her community of like-minded people. And because of Abrams and Black women activists like her, we have a new president.

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