“Miss America is evolving. And she’s not going to look the same anymore.”
So predicted Nina Davuluri during her quest to become the first Indian-American winner of the quintessential American beauty pageant. Then Davuluri backed it up by whirling through a Bollywood dance in a sari, baring her nut-brown skin in a bikini, and championing the kind of diversity that made her milestone seem inevitable.
So why did her victory make such a splash among those who rarely pay attention to the contest, when America already has its fair share of Indian-American governors, CEOs, scientists, actors and other high achievers?
For many Americans of Indian heritage, it showed the unique promise of America, the way the nation and its new immigrants are responding to each other — and the challenges that remain as America changes in deeper ways than black and white.
Amardeep Singh, an English professor at Lehigh University…
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