Photo via: Dee-Ann Rogers
Over the weekend, Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers, from the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla, was crowned Miss Universe Great Britain, making her the first Black woman to take home the title in the pageant’s 66-year history.
The 25-year-old competed against 40 other women from Wales, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and several other British Overseas Territories. Now Kentish-Rogers will represent both Anguilla and the United Kingdom on an international stage in the upcoming Miss Universe competition.
This happened! My heart is full!! Thank you so much for all of your love and support. The hard work continues NOW!
Miss Universe Great Britain 2018-2019 pic.twitter.com/kXkjE5aokPadvertisement
— Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers (@AsToldBy_Dee) July 16, 2018
Kentish-Rogers told Buzzfeed News: “It’s really humbling and I think it’s also a privilege for me to become the first Black woman who is crowned Miss Universe Great Britain. I believe that this is the direction that the pageant has been going in for the last couple of years because Britain is a diverse nation, we are a multicultural society and it is time that that diversity is seen on a stage where other young Black girls and girls of all ethnicities can see that this is something for everybody not just some of us.”
Her historic win comes almost exactly 41 years after Janelle Penny Commissiong-Chow made history as the first Black woman to win Miss Universe on July 16, 1977. Before earning her own history-making win, Kentish-Rogers believed she had already made history in the competition, explaining, “To my knowledge, I am the first dreadlocked woman to walk across a Miss Universe Great Britain stage and that is absolutely most exciting to me.”
“I took over this role in 2008 and I can honestly say there is no better gift (than) having our first Black winner to celebrate 10 years in the job,” said the national director for Miss Universe Great Britain, Paula Abbandonato. “Dee-Ann is a true role model for all women of all skin colors and with her dynamism off the stage, coupled with her presence on the stage, I genuinely believe Great Britain has a chance at the Miss Universe crown this year.”
Congratulations, Dee-Ann! Keep on blazing your own trail!