After a six-year hiatus, Miss Ebony Temple will crown a new queen on March 28. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated will sponsor this tradition, which dates back to the 1980s.
Taking a step away from party walks and stepping tournaments, the fraternities will use this spring to honor some of Temple’s finest women of color.
“It’s not just another beauty pageant,” coordinator and graduate student Manoj Raghunandanan said. “We want to concentrate on not just the way women look, but their intelligence.”
Nine well-rounded finalists were chosen out of the 74 who auditioned.
“It’s not the typical slender type of thing,” Raghunandanan said, clearing up any misconception about the role played by physical appearance.
But the contest does include a runway for contestants to pose and act like models, showcasing clothes by Phi Beta Sigma member Charles Gregory. Gregory’s line of clothing is called the 4C’s Diamond Collection.
Describing the contestants as “dynamic women on campus who need to be appreciated,” the Phi Beta Sigma brethren eagerly anticipate the event. An array of women from the community, such as principals from local schools, will serve on the panel of judges.
The fraternity is hosting a variety of events on campus as it gears up for the big night. The week of March 21 has been set aside for social organizations, black entrepreneurships and panel discussions on being biracial.
The week will end with the March 28 Miss Ebony Temple pageant. The proceeds from this event will benefit the charities chosen by the winner and the runner-up.
In addition, the winner and runner-up will receive $500 and $300 book scholarships respectively.
“I have a lot of faith in my brothers and in the young women,” Raghunandanan said.
Stephanie Guerilus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org