The Society of Distinguished Black Women Incorporated has brought back the Men of Essence Calendar Pageant. DBW used to held the pageant annual, but this is the first one since 2006.
Exhibiting a great sense of poise and masculinity, this year’s Man of Essence is Johnathan Hall.
“First of all, I am honored in seeing the need for young men to step up and take leadership roles that push me to promote my platform, entrepreneurship, education, and success, said Hall. “I want all young men to succeed academically, and professionally.”
The pageant was held on Wednesday, April 8th in the Favrot Student Union’s Black and Gold room. Fifteen young Grambling State University men competed showing their day wear, swim wear, and evening wear.
This year the theme was “Men in Black” with the lingering question of “who will be the man of essence?”
The contestants kicked the pageant off with a smooth dance routine and introduced themselves.
“As a judge, one thing I am looking for in the male pageant contestants is a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and just seeing them have fun,” said Miss GSU Ginia Smith, who is also member of DBW. “I am excited to bring this once tradition back from our beloved society.”
Of 15 young men, three men competed to become the Man of Essence. They preached platforms of entrepreneurship, education, social injustices of young Black men.
The participants also discussed becoming a better man in society, discovering a man’s purpose in life, and embarking upon inspiring change in society.
“This experience let me see another side of me, I didn’t know I had,” said Mr. November Desmond Stegall. He also added this was his first pageant. “Winning a month capped it all off, and I got to understand what DBW was all about.”
There has been a great history of the Men of Essence calendar pageant on GSU campus. It has been nearly 10 years since this pageant has been brought back. This pageant is a way of honoring the males in the community.
“I feel it started off well, overall we had a good turnout,” said LaDerricka Morris, the vice president of the Society of Distinguished Black Women.