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The First Black Miss World Looks Back on Her Tumultuous Win 50 Years Later

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When Jennifer Hosten first arrived in the U.K. from Grenada for the 1970 Miss World contest, she had no idea there would be such a media frenzy around the competition—and its participants. She quickly realized that she would have to do the best she could to stand out. “Women from small countries, and particularly women of color, like myself, really were not expected to be more than a number in the contest,” she tells TIME, looking back 50 years later.

But Hosten not only stood out—she went on to take home the top honors, becoming the first Black woman to win the international beauty pageant since it was established in 1951. But that wasn’t the only thing that made the 1970 competition, which took place in London’s Royal Albert Hall, different from years past. It also featured two contestants from South Africa at the height of apartheid: Pearl Janssen, a Black woman who came in second in the competition behind Hosten, and Jillian Jessup, a white woman. And it was disrupted on the night of the competition by British women’s liberation protesters.

Those events, as well as Hosten’s experience, are the subject of a new film by director Philippa Lowthorpe, Misbehaviour, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Hosten and Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley as real-life feminist activists Sally Alexander and Jo Robinson. The contest was watched by more than 22 million people in the U.K., and more than 100 million people worldwide, and has since been considered a touchstone in the women’s liberation movement in the U.K.. Just four months later, in March 1971, thousands of women, men and children took part in the movement’s first major demonstration in London.

‘Very pragmatic expectations’

Jennifer Hosten and Bob Hope

Jennifer Hosten and Bob Hope

Courtesy of Jennifer Hosten & Sutherland House Books

Hosten grew up under British rule in Grenada, then a colonial island in the West Indies, which gained independence in 1974. In her autobiography published earlier this year, Miss World 1970: How I Entered a Pageant and Wound Up Making History, Hosten describes how she worked as an airline attendant and had an interest in broadcast journalism as a young woman, before a friend encouraged her to enter the Miss Grenada competition, which was a stepping stone to the Miss World contest.

But not everyone had such favorable views of Miss World. “That competition is one big fat celebration of oppression,” says Buckley’s character Jo Robinson in the film, as the British feminist activists prepare to protest the contest on the grounds that it was antiquated, sexist and objectified women. Hosten says she was familiar with the women’s liberation movement and shared an affinity on one level with the protesters around the universal struggles that women still face today, such as equal pay and opportunities.

But looking back, their actions around the contest were hard to understand; Hosten, who was 23 at the time, saw her participation in the contest as her own choice, not one that was being made for her, nor one that was exploitative. “I saw [the contest] as an opportunity, to travel, to represent Grenada, and to make some money if I won. I had some very pragmatic expectations. I saw it less as objectification, but I think that some of the experiences during the contest made us think that way for sure,” she says. “When I first arrived, it wasn’t my thought that I was being exploited. If I had thought that, I wouldn’t have taken part.”

The contest also took place against the political backdrop of the Vietnam War, and one of the prizes for the newly crowned Miss World was a tour of Vietnam with Bob Hope to entertain U.S. troops, which Hosten did later in 1970. There was also the fact that Pearl Janssen, the Black representative from South Africa (who was given the title Miss Africa South), “had been sent almost as a totem from her country,” says Hosten. For Hosten, that should have been the issue for the women’s liberation movement to focus on instead, and she says the protesters never reached out to the contestants to explain what they were trying to do.

‘A huge step forward’

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Jennifer Hosten in 'Misbehaviour'

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Jennifer Hosten in ‘Misbehaviour’

Pathé

The night of the competition saw the women’s liberation protesters, including Alexander and Robinson, sneak into the Royal Albert Hall venue incognito, with flour, vegetables and flyers in their handbags, ready to launch the protest when all the Miss World contestants were on-stage. In an interview earlier this year, the women said that their intention was to criticize the contest organizers, not the contestants, and that staging the protest that way would have maximum impact on the night. Yet the protesters became infuriated when host Bob Hope started telling misogynistic jokes, and they decided to launch the protest early while Hope was doing his bit, putting a pause to the proceedings for about 15 minutes. “It was a shock when we looked through the curtain and saw what was going on,” says Hosten. “Our initial reaction was wondering whether the contest was going to continue, or whether that would be the end and if all our preparations had been for nothing.”

It was another shock when the event regrouped and Hosten was announced the winner. “I was happy that I had reached the finals, but then I was elated to win,” she says. She was awakened the next day by a loud knock at the door from the housekeeper, who said that she wanted to see what Miss World looked like without make-up on. Hosten had immediately become a superstar, but pride was quickly dampened by the media’s reaction. “I had expected the newspapers to say, Grenada has won, or something quite flattering. Instead, the headline said, Miss World is Black, and is she the most beautiful girl in the world?” Less than positive headlines over Hosten’s win and Janssen’s second place, and lamentations that competition favorite Miss Sweden hadn’t won, dominated in the immediate aftermath. “That was rather sad, because that took away quite a lot from the feeling of elation that I would have felt otherwise,” says Hosten.

But the impact of the win would have longer-lasting impacts, says Mbatha-Raw, the actor who plays Hosten in Misbehaviour. “Looking at representations of beauty at the time, there weren’t really many opportunities for women of color to be perceived as a beauty icon. That’s really changed in leaps and bounds, and in not just beauty,” she says. “It is symbolic optically in terms of what little girls can look at, and see who gets to win, who gets to be center-stage, and who gets to be celebrated in that way. For Jennifer to win the competition, that was a huge step forward for Grenada, for Jennifer on a personal level, and for women of color as a whole at that time.”

‘We have much further to go’

Jennifer Hosten and Gugu Mbatha-Raw attend the World Premiere of  Misbehaviour  on March 09, 2020 in London, England.

Jennifer Hosten and Gugu Mbatha-Raw attend the World Premiere of “Misbehaviour” on March 09, 2020 in London, England.

Dave Benett/WireImage—2020 David M. Benett

Looking back on old diaries from the 1970 competition prompted Hosten to write her autobiography. “I thought it was important to show that my life didn’t end at the end of my year as Miss World,” she says. The competition really was a springboard for Hosten to move onto other adventures; after traveling with Hope and fulfilling her duties as Miss World on an international tour, she later became a senior diplomat for Grenada, worked in international development, started her own business, and trained as a psychotherapist. Although the experience of winning Miss World helped shape her, she says, it didn’t define her. “I have made an effort throughout my life to define my own life, and to show that women can do all sorts of things.”

In 2010, Jennifer received a call from the BBC, asking if she would participate in a radio broadcast interviewing all the key participants of the 1970 pageant, including Alexander and Robinson. It was the first time she had met the activists, and while she writes that she found them intense during the interview, “despite decades of being placed in opposition to one another in the narrative that resulted from the 1970 pageant, we found we had more in common than expected.” It was that reunion program that caught the attention of producers, and led to the making of Misbehaviour.

This year marks not only half a century since Hosten’s historic win, but also the first time that Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA are all women of color. While there’s still much to be debated about the purpose of pageants in the first place, Hosten says the current state of the contests feels bittersweet. “Women should not just be thinking of ways in which physical beauty can benefit them. There are many other ways in which women can shine.” And there’s plenty of room for improvement in terms of representation, as well. “The fact that we’re still talking about [women of color winning pageants] as if it’s an anomaly tells me that we have much further to go,” she says.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses

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When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack

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Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).

It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.

However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.

With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.

Choosing the Wrong Table

Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.

First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.

Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.

Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.

When to Hit and Stand

As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.

One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.

While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.

Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.

When to Split and Double

If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.

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Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.

While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.

It is not recommended to split when:

  • You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
  • You are dealt two 9s
  • You are dealt two 5s
  • The dealer holds a 10 or picture card

It is best to split when:

  • You are dealt two 8s
  • You are dealt two aces
  • The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)

Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.

Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.

Conclusion

Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.

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Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students

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The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like. 

Who Are You?

Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.

Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:

  • What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
  • What do you like or hate most about yourself?
  • What is your greatest value in life?
  • What emotions do you express easily?
  • What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
  • Who you want to become in five years?
  • What is your major objective for next year?
  • Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
  • What motto do you try to live by?
  • Where would you like to travel?
  • If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?

Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.

Sentence Completion

Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:

  • Before I came to college, I was interested in…
  • When I was a child, I wanted to become…
  • The best moment I remember most about high school is…
  • My favorite pet is…
  • The things I value most are…
  • Five years from now I hope to be…
  • My greatest personality trait is…
  • My favorite subject at high school was…
  • If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
  • My greatest fear is…
  • After I graduate from college, I…

The Reception Line

You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:

  • Where would you like to travel?
  • What motto do you try to follow?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What music do you like?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What do you like about college life the most?

Take Sides

You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:

  • Watermelon or banana?
  • Sweat or bitter?
  • Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
  • Partying or hiking?
  • Listen or speak?
  • Rock or pop?
  • Morning or night?
  • Superman or Batman?
  • Robocop or Terminator?
  • Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
  • Los Angeles or New York?
  • Liberal or conservative?
  • American football or ice hockey?

My Most Embarrassing Moment

You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.

These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.

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