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Gary Student Wins Miss Black America Crown

July 22, 1991

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Sharmell Sullivan, a mathematics and biomedical engineering student, was crowned the new Miss Black America.

Sullivan, 20, of Gary, was selected from among 23 contestants in the 23rd annual pageant Sunday night. She succeeds Rosie Jones, 22, of Hartford, Conn.

Sullivan, a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, was the valedictorian at Gary Roosevelt High School in Atlanta in 1988 and will be a senior at the college this fall.

The 5-foot-7 Sullivan also was named Miss Photogenic by the media. Her prizes include $3,000 in cash and two vacations. She will spend the next year making personal appearances, said pageant spokesman Norman Hayes.

Tonya Traylor, 29, of Miami was named first runner-up. Parquita Nassau, 22, of Atlanta was second runner-up and Tasha Jarrett, 19, of Chicago was third runner-up.

The judging was based on swimsuit appearance, talent and projection, Hayes said. The pageant is conducted here each year as part of Indiana Black Expo.

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