Abena Appiah became the first Black woman to be crowned Miss Grand International — and she served Black excellence throughout the whole competition.
The 27-year-old pageant veteran and Ghanian American earned her spot in the competition while representing the U.S., after being dubbed Miss Grand USA. Appiah seized her moment on the global stage to bring light to social justice issues.
In the “National Costume” segment she sported a long black overcoat featuring the faces of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Akai Garley — all victims of police brutality. The coat read “I’m proud to be Black.” When she took it off it revealed an opulent white gown with the American flag embedded in the skirt.
“I am basically trying to tell people that even though there’s so much corruption and hate crimes in our society if we come together as one — we can all be equal,” Appiah told Yahoo Life.
The multifaceted pageant queen, who is a musical therapist and anti-bullying advocate, is using her experience to inspire other young women.
“I want you to know your hair is beautiful, your skin is flawless, and that you should wear all of it with pride and grace,” Appiah wrote in an Instagram post celebrating her win.
“We are enough; we are beautiful, we do not have to fit any beauty standards because we set our own. The first Black MGI Queen, the first to bring the golden crown home to the USA, and finally, a dream as a young three-year-old is now a reality,” she