Missouri Life Magazine asked me to travel to Kansas City to cover the 50th annual Miss Black America press conference. Held at Union Station, the press conference introduced 23 Miss Black America contestants from across the United States. They ranged in age from 18 to 29 years old. Entrepreneur J. Morris Anderson started the pageant in 1968 as a way to showcase the beauty of young black American women, who at the time, were shunned by mainstream contests like the Miss America Pageant. The 2018 Miss Black America Pageant took place at the historic Gem Theatre on 18th Street in the Kansas City jazz district. Miss Ryan Richardson of Brooklyn, New York, walked away with the crown that night. Here’s a photo of the contestants along with (front row from left) Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner, pageant founder J. Morris Anderson, Kansas City councilman Lee Barnes Jr., and previous queens Janice Reynolds-Jones, 1976; Brittany Lewis, 2017; and Alexandra Morton, 2014.

The photograph was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera with a Canon EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM lens at ƒ/8.0 with a 1/60-second exposure at ISO 1600. The processing was done with Adobe Lightroom CC.

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