- Sullivan was the first African American to place among the top five of the Miss America Pageant.
Lencola Sullivan made history by breaking through the color barrier within the Miss American Pageant.
Sullivan became the first African-American to win every competition she ever entered.
Her first foray into pageants was in 1977 when she represented her hometown. She won the title of Miss Morrilton in 1977 and Miss University of Central Arkansas in 1978, placing in the Top 10 at the Miss Arkansas pageant both years