1973 Miss Black Teenage World Pageant

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Rosalette Petty crowned as Miss Black Teenage World 1973

The 1973 Miss Black Teenage World Pageant was a beauty pageant held at Birmingham's Municipal Auditorium on August 11-17, 1973. It was the inaugural pageant in the international competition founded by Ronald Charity and produced by his Pageants Unlimited, Inc. The competition was open to girls ages 15 to 17 from the United States, Bermuda, Virgin Islands and Canada. Birmingham Mayor George Seibels declared "Miss Black Teenage World Week" across the city for the event.

The pageant contestants and chaperones were hosted on the campus of Miles College by the Alabama Association of Modern Beauticians. Around 46 competitors were invited to the pageant representing 35 states and 6 foreign nations. They competed in sportswear, evening wear, talent, and "projection" (public speaking).

Contestants registered on Saturday, August 11 and attended an orientation meeting and social at Miles' Norton Student Union Building, hosted by Miss Black Teenage America Gail Monroe. On Sunday, August 12, all participants attended Thirgood Memorial CME Church in Smithfield, then embarked on a tour of the city, followed by a "Congressional Tea" sponsored by the Southern Beauty Congress.

Rehearsals for pageant dance numbers began on Monday, August 13, with a luncheon and press conference at the A. G. Gaston Restaurant. The first preliminary competitions began on the evening of Wednesday, August 15. On the morning of Friday, August 17 the contestants made a public appearance at a motorcade through downtown Birmingham, with the final competition that evening.

Rosalette Petty, a 16-year-old from Kailua, Hawai'i, won the pageant, in part by demonstrating native dances. She was awarded a full four-year scholarship to Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. Runners-up included Pamela Bosley of St Louis, Missouri; Pamela Harvey of La Plata, Maryland; Marilyn Monroe of Hartford, Connecticut; Angela Bridges of Passaic, New Jersey; and Marcia Jackson of Orlando, Florida, who won the "Miss Together" award. The only finalist from Alabama was Paulette Payne of Gadsden. All fifteen finalists won scholarship money, as well as Kodak pocket Instamatic 10 camera outfits presented by the Eastman Kodak Co.

The second annual pageant was held in Danville, Virginia.