Justin C. Caesar, the 2011-2012 Mr. DSU, has added a new crown for his head after recently winning the 8th annual Mr. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Pageant in Jefferson City, Mo.
Mr. DSU Justin Caesar, the 2012 Mr. HBCU
Mr. Caesar, a senior public relations major at Delaware State University, won the top title over 13 other HBCU university and college kings who competed in the 2012 pageant.
The competition consisted of a three-minute oratory and talent category, as well as a question and answer challenge.
For the talent category, he came up with a creative monologue – which he gave while lying in an actual casket. “I portrayed our past ancestors as rolling over in their graves while seeing how this generation has taken for granted what they fought for,” Mr. Caesar said. “There just happened to be funeral home near the competition site, and they let me use one of their caskets.”
All of the contestants were asked to give three-minute oratory on the theme “HBCUs, the Cornerstone of our History – Black Men, the Catalyst for the Survival of These Institutions.” In his oratory, Mr. Caesar affirmed the value of HBCUs in producing the African American male leaders of the future.
“HBCUs were designed to use education as a means of breaking the mental captivities of slavery,” he said in his oratory. “Men such as William Jefferson, the white founder of Morehouse College, had the vision that one day the Morehouse men of today would be the catalyst of change in tomorrow’s society.”
In the question and answer category, Mr. Caesar was asked: “If he could switch places with a historical figure, who would it be and why?”
“My answer was Thurgood Marshall, and I used his quote that we need to ‘change the way that we see the world’,” Mr. Caesar said. “As African-Americans, we are presented with many barriers and obstacles in life, but we have the ability to change that and overcome.”
Mr. Caesar, who is from Newburgh, N.Y., is slated to graduate in May. He said that he already has a job waiting for him in Atlanta, Ga., where he will work as a sales specialist for the MillerCoors LLC.
It is the second time that a Mr. DSU has won the Mr. HBCU title since the University began crowning a king in 2005. Harold Burnett, Mr. DSU 2006-2007, won the Mr. HBCU title in 2007.