History May 08, 2018 at 08:08 pm

From the slums to national fame in 1990, America’s first black Miss USA

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

Farida Dawkins May 08, 2018 at 08:08 pm

May 08, 2018 at 08:08 pm | History

Carole Anne-Marie Gist...Pinterest

Carole Anne-Marie Gist is a Detroit, Michigan native born on May 8, 1969.  Raised by her mother, they often moved around the inner city of Detroit to avoid violence. She had aspirations of dancing and singing but was unable to fulfil her dreams due to her family’s financial difficulties.

Carole Anne-Marie Gist…Essence

Gist was an honor graduate of Cass Technical High School in 1987. In 1990, Gist joined a group of hopeful women, contesting for the Miss USA title.

On March 2, 1990, Gist made history; she was crowned the first black Miss USA. A feat she accomplished at the age of 20. At six-feet tall, she was also the tallest Miss USA at the time.

She won $200,000 worth of gifts as part of the package. She went on to win the title of the first runner-up at the Miss Universe pageant.

Her life wasn’t devoid of challenges. In 1991, she filed a lawsuit against Miss USA officials for unfair labor practices; the case was later dismissed.

Carole Anne-Marie Gist…Alchetron

Gist later married and has two children.

The owner of Royal Physique Fitness, she is a Michigan-area fitness instructor and advocate.

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