Vanessa William who is now better know for being a main character in the US hit television series Ugly Betty was crowned in 1984 as the first African American Miss America.
After she was first crowned she was first compared to Jackie Robinson for his accomplishment of breaking the colour line that had once been in american baseball. But it was not seen by everyone to be something that was changing the american view of equality to included African Americans in nation competition as Vanessa was the first contestant in the history of the pageant to receive death threats.
But even after the prays she once received it was cut short like her pageant life as Miss America when pornographic images where found and exposed of her to the general public. It was then found latter after she has resigned that she had been pressured into posing for them and that she had been promised at the time that they were to never be published.
During the same year after the scandal was in full hype the photo's where published in the most successful issue of Penthouse magazine ever printed, it reacted a net profit by Bob Guccine of over $14 million. But hype was put down to the fact of the photo but the real under lining element of the event was that it was not just Vanessa that was under the spot light and being just and picked a part but the whole of her race. But it was not seen that all the change within the Miss America pageant had been lost as Vanessa's runner-up, an african American women from New Jersey, Suzette Charles. Since 1984 there have been more african American Miss America's and also the first Asian Miss America who also won Miss Hawaii 2000, Angela Baraqulo. Following this the Miss American pageant has made diversity part of their official mission.
I personally feel that this is a good representation of America in the 1980's as it so that there were still some issues in the society of American based around the issue of race even after the Equal Rights Act in the 50's and 60's and that there still is today. But it shows that society as a whole have over come racial differences when it comes to the nation as a whole, to show the world that America has evolved and will carry on showing and setting an opinion in their eyes that the rest of the world should follow as they are know as the worlds super power.