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3 black women win Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America

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NEW YORK (AP) — When Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown, it marked more than a personal triumph: It meant that for the first time, three black women are the reigning Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.

The North Carolina lawyer completed the historic triple Thursday with pageant winners 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris.

“The three young women who have focused their energy on demonstrating how standards of black beauty speak for American standards of beauty are to be commended,” said Thomas DeFrantz, a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.

“These three standard-bearers prove that black beauty is at the heart of a 21st century American ideal,” he added.

Franklin, from New York, won her title in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first woman also to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit. Garris, from New Haven, Connecticut, won her crown in April, and hopes to become a trauma nurse.

Kryst, a former Division I athlete and attorney at Poyner Spruill LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina, won her crown in Reno, Nevada. She holds an MBA from Wake Forest University.

“Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. I’m looking forward to continued progress in my generation,” said Kryst, after accepting her crown. She now advances to the Miss Universe competition.

The oldest of the three is the Miss America pageant, which began in 1921 but women of color were barred from participating until the 1940s by a rule that said contestants must be of “the white race.” Frustration led to the creation of Miss Black America contest.

In 1970, Cheryl Browne became the first black woman to participate in the Miss America pageant. Since then, more than a dozen black women have been named either Miss America or Miss USA, including actress Vanessa Williams, the first-ever black Miss America in 1983.

The Miss USA contest was created in 1952 and crowned the first African American contestant — Carole Anne-Marie Gist — in 1990. A year later, Janel Bishop won the Miss Teen USA title, becoming the first African American winner.

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Multi-Platinum Country Artist Chase Rice to Perform Saturday Night Infield Concert at Talladega Superspeedway During NASCAR Playoffs Weekend

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Country star Chase Rice. Photo via NASCAR.

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Talladega Superspeedway is proud to announce that multi-Platinum singer-songwriter Chase Rice, who also has NASCAR ties, will be the featured artist for the track’s traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert, Oct. 1, during an exciting NASCAR Playoffs weekend, featuring the YellaWood 500.

 

Rice will take the stage at NASCAR’s “Party Capital” just hours after the conclusion of the Sparks 300 (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Chevy Silverado 250 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) races, and the night before the YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series event (Sunday, Oct. 2). It will mark the second time that Rice has performed at the biggest and baddest race track on the planet (spring of 2015). The best part about the concert is that admission is FREE with the purchase of a Sunday race ticket for the YellaWood 500. Breakout country artist Bailey Zimmerman will open the anticipated night.

 

“We are thrilled to have Chase Rice back with us at Talladega Superspeedway for our popular Saturday Night Infield Concert,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Brian Crichton. “We have amazing fans, and knowing what an incredible entertainer Chase is, everyone in attendance is going to have an incredible time. Chase will continue the tradition in our world-famous infield, and it’s one fans will not want to miss.”

 

With more than 2.3 million albums sold and over 2.3 billion total streams, plus a legion of passionate fans at his high-energy concerts across the globe, Rice has established himself as a powerful force in Nashville and beyond. With a forthcoming album crafted in his rural Tennessee home-turned-studio, his sound continues to evolve to reflect the realities of his life, as evidenced by recent single “If I Were Rock & Roll” and his latest release, “Key West & Colorado.” The new music serves as a follow up to his three-part project, The Album, featuring his latest Platinum-certified No. 1 hit, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen. (featuring Florida Georgia Line)” and Platinum-certified Top 10 hit “Lonely If You Are.”

 

This is the same gravelly-voiced Chase Rice fans first fell in love with years ago – but better. Freer. Unbeholden and uninhibited, somehow capable of evoking Chris LeDoux and The Chronic, campfire singalongs and stadium anthems, all at once. The new music builds upon the success of his sophomore album, Lambs & Lions, which featured the Triple-Platinum, two-week chart topper “Eyes On You” – Rice’s first No. 1 as an artist and the most-streamed song of his career.

 

In addition to a hugely successful music career, Rice also has an athletic background as a former linebacker at the University of North Carolina, and was a part of the sport of NASCAR, serving as a rear tire carrier for the Hendrick Motorsports team pit crew before moving to Nashville to pursue music full-time.

 

Warner Music Nashville / Elektra Music Group breakout country artist Zimmerman is following an explosive trajectory after an unexpected, whirlwind rise. His undeniable smash “Fall In Love” features Zimmerman’s “blistering…effortlessly gritty, fervent vocal” (Billboard). The song is currently racing up the country radio charts and multiple all-genre Billboard charts, having already charted at No. 1 on Apple Music’s Top Country Songs chart and SiriusXM The Highway’s Top 30 Countdown earlier this year.

A victory by a playoff eligible driver in any of the trio of October events will make it to the next round of their respective NASCAR Playoffs series. The YellaWood 500 will serve as the second race in the Round of 12 and will feature NASCAR’s ’Next Gen’ car. Bubba Wallace is the defending Champion of the YellaWood 500. Brandon Brown won last year’s Xfinity Series race while Tate Fogleman took the top honors in the Camping World Truck Series race.

Guests attending the weekend can be immersed into the sport of NASCAR by being a part of the Talladega Garage Experience, which gives the ability to be up-close to NASCAR’s top drivers and teams via a fan walkway under the same roof as the NASCAR Cup Series garage bays. For all race weekend ticket information, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.

Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the all-new NASCAR Tracks App. for the latest speedway news.

Follow Chase Rice at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chasericemusic

Twitter: @chasericemusic

Instagram: @chaserice

TikTok: @chasericemusic

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Universal Orlando Resort Celebrates Biggest Fans with Passholder Appreciation Days

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Photo: NBCUniversal.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Beginning August 15 and continuing through September 30, Universal Orlando Resort is giving back to Universal Orlando Passholders with exclusive benefits to celebrate the UOAP family during Passholder Appreciation Days. UOAPs will have the opportunity to experience Universal Orlando in incredible ways with perks that include exclusive passholder merchandise, a collectible UOAP themed magnet, unique food and beverage offering, special nightly rates at select Universal Orlando Resort hotels and more.

Here are some of the offerings that Universal Orlando Passholders can enjoy during this time:

  • Collectible UOAP Magnet, a passholder favorite, is featured during this year’s Appreciation Days.
  • Exclusive Merchandise including an all-new spirit jersey, stemless cup, and so much more.
  • Food and beverage featuring more than fifteen limited-time menu offerings throughout the destination:
    • Universal’s Islands of Adventure: Dan Dan Noodles at Confisco Grille, Brisket Grilled Cheese at Comic Strip Café, Willy Wallo Lasso at Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous, and Hummus Kawarma at Mythos Restaurant
    • Universal Studios Florida: Crab Okonomiyaki at Lombard’s Landing and Maloney Stack at Finnegan’s
    • Universal’s Volcano Bay: Island Chicken Pancit Bowl at Wakawawai
    • CityWalk: Mango Ginger Kiss at Voodoo Doughnut, Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding at Bigfire, Quesadilla Ahogada at Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, a Mt. Fuji Roll at Cowfish and more.

To keep updated on these and other limited-time offerings, visit the Discover Universal Orlando Blog.

Universal Orlando’s amazing collection of hotels offers a variety of accommodation options for every travel style and budget, giving guests easy access to the excitement of the theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Universal Orlando Hotels are also celebrating UOAPs with exclusive offers on delicious menu items that passholders can enjoy throughout the resorts. Passholders can take advantage of incredible savings at Universal Orlando Resort hotels by booking exclusive hotel rates starting at $109* per night, plus tax at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel, available to book through September 28, 2022. For more information and for booking, visit Universal Orlando Resort Reservations.

Passholders enjoy a thrilling combination of experiences at Universal Orlando’s award-winning theme parks all year round. Here is the only place where UOPAs can race alongside Velociraptors at Jurassic World VelociCoaster – Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster; take flight aboard magical motorbikes for a journey deep into the Forbidden Forrest on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade – and so much more. For more information on all the benefits Passholders will be able to enjoy during Passholder Appreciation Days at Universal Orlando, visit www.Universalorlando.com/Appreciation-days. Select blackout dates apply to select passes. Additional Passholder Appreciation Days benefits will be announced soon.

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Black Lives

Black Family Sues Sesame Place, Alleging Discrimination

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In this image from video provided by Jodi Brown, posted to Instagram on Saturday, July 16, 2022, a performer dressed as the character Rosita waves off Brown's daughter and another 6-year-old Black girl at the Sesame Place amusement park in Langhorne, Pa. (Jodi Brown via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Baltimore family is suing a Sesame Street-themed amusement park for $25 million over claims of racial discrimination, alleging multiple costumed characters ignored a 5-year-old Black girl during a meet-and-greet event last month.

The lawsuit comes in the wake of a video, shared widely on social media, showing two other Black girls apparently being snubbed by a costumed employee during a parade at the park in Langhorne, outside Philadelphia. Sesame Place apologized in a statement and promised more training for its employees after the video went viral earlier this month.

The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed in a federal court in Philadelphia against SeaWorld Parks, the owner of the Sesame Place, for “pervasive and appalling race discrimination.”

The lawsuit alleges four employees dressed as Sesame Street characters ignored Quinton Burns, his daughter Kennedi Burns and other Black guests during the meet-and-greet on June 18. The lawsuit says “SeaWorld’s performers readily engaged with numerous similarly situated white customers.”

During a press conference held Wednesday, one of the family’s attorneys, Malcolm Ruff, called for transparency from SeaWorld and for the company to compensate the Burns family. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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