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The Legacy of The Late Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019

Yesterday morning, police confirmed the body of a woman who'd jumped from a New York high rise as the late Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019. This devastating news left the pageant community in shambles as she was such a pinnacle to what it meant to exemplify "black excellence" as a national titleholder, an attorney, an MBA recipient and an Emmy nominated media personality. Her family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time. A star and role model to millions has officially left us. 

Cheslie was one of five women who made history in 2019 when 5 of the world's most prestigious pageant titles were all held by black women: Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, Miss America and Miss World. Her win at Miss USA was also widely praised by the black community because she did so wearing her natural hair shamelessly and fiercely as opposed to following the whitewashed pageant protocol of having sleek, straight hair. 

During her reign as Miss USA 2019, she spoke at conferences, fought in courtrooms and rallied at protests for criminal justice rights and legal reform. As a double licensed attorney in North and South Carolina, she took her vow to serve quite seriously to the point of dedicating her entire life, while it ended so soon, to advocating for a more fair government.

Outside of her political work, she was also a "fashion philanthropist" who was passionate about serving looks in her day to day style with a consistently crisp and stylish wardrobe, but also by helping those who were less fortunate have access to fashionable clothing! She was an ambassador for the national nonprofit, Dress For Success, and she regularly donated her designer apparel to charity for others to use. On top of this, she maintained a blog, White Collar Glam, that provided educational and financial resources to readers that could not only boost their self esteem and confidence but open doors for them to have proper clothing for life changing occassions like job interviews, prom, or court dates. 

Cheslie Kryst was a staple in history that will not be forgotten. The public outcry following her passing has made clear the profound impact that her work has had on many. In the words of her chilling final Instagram Post yesterday, may her spirit find "rest and peace."


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