In spite of the controversy that the first Miss Black France pageant caused, the contest was held anyway and a winner crowned. Her name is Mbathio Beye and she is a 21 year old Senegalese marketing student.
The event was marred by the presence of about 30 members of the New France movement, a right-wing, ultra-nationalist group that formed a picket line outside of the venue.
One protester told Radio France Internationale: “why should Asians and Africans come here and have more rights than us? This is why we are demanding a Miss White France.”
The runners up were Niaba Romy, 22, studying political science and hailing from the Ivory Coast, and Aissata Soumah, 24, a business student from Guinea. The contest weighed 1,000 entries from all French regions around the world to select the final 18 women ages 17 – 28.
The goal of the Miss Black France pageant, according to organizer Frédéric Royer, was to “celebrate black beauty,” and give black women a chance to participate in a competition that is inclusive, unlike it’s mainstream counterpart Miss France. Detractors of the event called it discriminatory and shocking in a society that prides itself on color-blindness.