When many think of pageants and think of calendars most don’t usually think of men being in them. The Ladies of The Society of Distinguished Black Women is one of the organizations that is taking pride in showcasing positive black men.
The Society of Distinguished Black Women hosted the second annual Men of Essence Calendar Showcase, the only calendar pageant that showcases males from Grambling and Louisiana Tech, was hosted March 23, 2006.
Students from Louisiana Tech and Grambling were all present to view the pageant. The members of the Society of Distinguished Black Women had a very special guest that night, their founder Tarlesha D. Williams-Smith was in attendance.
The theme "An All-Star Evening", was filled with scenes from today’s hottest sports, basketball (the line-up), boxing (swim wear), baseball (Urban wear), and even a scene going to a sports banquet (formal wear).
For the entertainment, Marcus Yanez performed the song, "One last Cry" by Brian McKnight, and members of DBW and Calendar members from 2005-2006 performed to the song Cater to U, by Destiny’s child. Questions during the question and answer portion ranged from the perspective of black men in society to being a candy bar and the contents it would posses. Excitement was all in the air as the contest everyone waited to see who would grace the 2006-2007 calendar, and who would be the next Mr. Man of essence. The title of Mr. Man of Essence went to Zachery Barlow a sophomore from Dallas.
"I was relieved because I thought I had lost. It (winning) really hasn’t hit me yet, maybe when we take the pictures it will. The pageant was a lot of fun we laughed at every practice," said Barlow. Contestants in the pageant walked away with great things to say about the event. Marcus Meraz said, "It was a great experience, I got to meet a lot of new people, and I had a lot of exposure."
According to Dennis Robinson, who won Mr. May, a friend encouraged him to participate in the pageant,"I’m not the pageant person but I went in, had fun and I was surprised that I won.
THE WINNERS Mr. August Roderick Batteaux Mr. September Timothy Griffith Mr. October & Mr. Congeniality Adam Nicholas-Esposito III Mr. November & Mr. Distinguished Jonathan Calton Mr. December & The Peoples Choice Burnell McGee Mr. January Spencer Monroe Mr. February & Mr. Physique Terry Hill Mr. March Tavaures James Mr. April Marques Meraz Mr. May Dennis Robinson II Mr. June Frank Jones Mr. July Maurice Firven Mr. Academic & Mr. Business Divon Spears