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Watch: The Time When Black Women Used Beauty Pageants to Make a Political Statement

A new London, England exhibit will showcase the history of Afro-Caribbean models and a Black power beauty pageant during the 1960s and 70s.

“Miss Black and Beautiful” exhibit curator, Renée Mussai, talks to BBC’s Dan Damon about Raphael Albert’s pageant and his photography documenting the models involved.

In the clip, Mussai says that Black women during the 1960s began to appreciate and love their dark skin and Afros.

This love for self was a push-back against European beauty standards.

“The 1970s was the beginning of the Afro establishing itself as a signifier of pride,” she explains. “To see these women perform in beauty contests —and winning them— with Afros was an important political statement.”

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