The 2016 Winner of Miss Brazil is a Black Woman for the 2nd Time Ever

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On Saturday, Raissa Santana became only the 2nd Black woman ever to be crowned Miss Brazil in the pageant's 61 year history.

This year the pageant had a record number of Black contestants. Six of the 27 candidates were Black. Though that number doesn't reflect the racial makeup of a country that's more than half Black or mixed race.

The progress reflects a slow move toward accepting a more inclusive beauty standard. Brazil has a long history of marginalizing its darker citizens. The country's biggest names, including supermodel Gisele Bundchen, are often white.
And Black brazilian women are showing pride in their African heritage by embracing their culture and natural hair texture.

21-year-old Santana is a student who represented ParanĂ¡.

The last Black woman to win the crown was Deise Nunes in 1986.

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