Mbathio Beye Crowned First Miss Black France Amidst Protest

Mbathio Beye, a 21-year-old Senegalese marketing student beauty, was crowned as the first Miss Black France in Paris on Saturday though her win has been blemished by members of the New France movement who deemed the event unnecessary and inadvertently racist.

“Why should Asians and Africans come here and have more rights than us?” one demonstrator told Radio France Internationale. “This is why we are demanding a Miss White France.”

The New France Movement, a right-wing, ultra-nationalist group, formed a picket line outside the venue because they oppose “special treatment for minority groups” and believe that the nation should not be divided amongst ethnic barriers.

Interestingly enough, the Miss Black France was forged to “celebrate black beauty,” and “to shine on the many Black women in this country who are rarely given media attention,” according to the pageant’s organizer Frederic Royer, hence the last woman of color, Chloe Mortaud, took the “Miss France” title home in 2009.

Royers continues, “All the black models tell me they can’t find work in France, so they are going to London and New York,” said Frederic Royer. “French magazines also never feature black women on their covers.”

Even so, protesters have called the “Miss Black France” pageant “stupid,” “dangerous” and “hostile.” Even the founder and president of the French Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN), Patrick Lozes, said the pageant is hardly “progressive.”

Congrats to the beautiful Beye! How do you feel about race based pageants?


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