Her name was Yolande Betbeze, “The Basque Spitfire”, and we’ve spoken of her before on the blog.  Today, we’ve got another great story about this extraordinary woman, because Meeghan Kane has written a wonderful article about her for the Auntie Bellum website, aimed at Southern women who are still struggling against the inequalities that frustrate the progress of womens’ rights in the South.

Yolande Betbeze’s life is an incredible one.  She was a very committed woman, with clear ideas, who was able to energetically and unflinchingly defend what she believed in.  She was a feminist when being one was very difficult, a defender of minority rights, who had her own way of seeing things and had the energy and ability to defend her ideas in public and offer her name and her prestige to defend the causes she believed in.

Her father, a Basque, was known as the Barbecue King and he was in charge of feeding the Democratic Party rallies in Alabama, in a very similar way to another Basque we’ve spoken of recently, Mario Zubiria, who was known as the Oregon Barbecue King.

We recommend getting to know the story of this Basque-American who was always proud of her origins.  She was a Basque who helped confirm, yet again, what Kia Marie Hunt said on The National Student website: “A Basque woman is a very particular type of woman”.

Auntie Bellum – 9/9/2015 – USA

Yolande Betbeze Fox: “The Most Unconventional Miss America Ever”

What kind of beauty queen claims Basque ancestry, refuses to wear a swimsuit for pageants, sings opera, protests in solidarity with CORE sit-ins and pickets Miss America for discrimination, and jet-sets with Algerian freedom fighters? Only one so far: Yolande Betbeze Fox: Miss America 1950. On this day in 1950, Yolande Betbeze Fox became the first woman from Alabama to take home the Miss America crown, and she’s even more memorable for creating a firestorm that ultimately led the Miss America pageant to fracture into three separate events, Miss America, Miss USA, and Miss Universe. But she was so much more.



Yolande Betbeze, the “Basque spitfire”, a “revolutionary woman” who was Miss America


An amazing woman, who received a letter from Obama thanking her for her lifelong struggle for civil rights, has passed away

Last Updated on Jun 6, 2023 by About Basque Country

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