Mr. Ebony In Leather To Represent...

Mr. Fantasy Leather '97 wins
Mr. Ebony In Leather Title

Ariq Robinson 1999 Mr. Ebony Leather!

After a rather shaky beginning Ebony Leather has finally gotten it together. In 1993 Graylin Thornton and Gregory Adams started Mister Ebony in leather contest to a luke warm reception and 16 contestants. Jimmy Lee was proclaimed winner but the title was removed and later given to Omar Mosely. The title was revived again in 1997 by Don Thompson and held once again in San Francisco, Davian Nelson was the local winner but moved to New Jersey for personal reasons and was unable to carry the title through. At the Pantheon of Leather Awards in New Orleans in 1998 Don Thompson passed the producing chores onto Cain Berlinger. With only three months notice Cain secured John Birch's Leatherneck's bar in Chicago during IML and several prizes donated by the community along with several stellar judges including David Rhodes, Jill Carter, Ariq Robinson (the current Mr. Ebony) rodtney ross and Amy Marie Meeks.

Unfortunately there were only two contestants, a drag queen and a cowboy. The drag queen won but due to personal agenda was unable to complete his title. Undaunted Cain planned his second Ebony Contest, this time at the popular Cellblock bar in Chicago, the contest was to be held just prior to IML. His MC's were Frank Nowicki and Queen Cougar. Armed with media blitz and a stellar panel of judges which included Viola Johnson, Tom Stice, Ryan Goldner, Mufasa, and the original producer, now Brush Creek Media maven, Graylin Thornton.

The contest yielded eight hot and qualified contestants who strutted their stuff before an entirely packed house of pre IML'ers and titleholders. The pre judging had been held earlier at the Congress Hotel. The read fantasy in jockstrap portion thrilled the audience and the question and answer in formal wear was loaded with amusing and interesting questions. The prizes donated came from all over the community in the form gift certificates and leather related items to be raffled and shared between the winner and first runner up Alexander Robinson of Washington. There was also a Congeniality award that went to Jamal of Atlanta.

For the first time Ebony leather was able to donate a portion of the proceeds toward purchasing a brick for the building to house the Leather Archives and Museum, the presentation was made the following Saturday night. Ariq Robinson will be the first winner to carry the title through and represent Ebony Leather in the IML 2000 competition another first and he will be wearing the sash made by Charles Garret of the Sanctuary in Atlanta (formerly Mr. Olympus Leather). Next year May 25th 2000 Frank Nowicki and Queen Cougar will MC the event once more from the Cellblock.

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