by Karen Hua
Originally published: June 6, 2016
Miss USA’s 2016 champion, Deshauna Barber, is the first-ever military member and ninth African-American to win in the pageant’s 64-year history.
An African American hasn’t won a title since Caressa Cameron in 2010. Carole Anne-Marie Gist of Michigan was the first Black woman to sweep the title in 1990, but Vanessa Williams WMB +2.41%, who is biracial (half white and half Black), earned the crown in 1983.
This year’s Miss USA pageant, held at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, saw 52 contestants for the first time ever. Alexandra Miller, the 52nd, was elected into the running based on fan’s votes on social media, and she also happened to be the Miss Oklahoma runner-up.