This past weekend, the largest gathering of African-American musical talent took place in New Orleans: ESSENCE Festival 2019.

ESSENCE magazine is an editorial brand that reports news, entertainment, wellness, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content for African-American women. The magazine is dedicated to speaking directly to black women in every aspect of their lives: personal, business, spiritual, etc. 

This organization works to appreciate the Black culture and has successfully done so by putting on ESSENCE Fest. Some featured entertainers this year included Pharrell, Nelly, Mary J Blige, Missy Elliot, Normani, H.E.R., and so many more! 

ESSENCE is an extraordinary company that is centered around tolerance and being unapologetically passionate about what makes you yourself. Music is one of the best forms of self-expression with melodies that evoke emotions with poignant lyrics. The performers at this year’s festival are no strangers to storytelling through their musical talents. The mixing of genres was just the beginning of the diversity featured at this year’s fest.

Not only did this festival feature musicians, but also guest speakers and conferences. With empowering statements about race, gender, and sexual inequality, this year’s ESSENCE Fest worked to change the world and fight against ignorance and hate. Messages of hard work, unconditional love, and support inspired many to network and grow.

(Also, Michelle Obama was there so DUH! Of course, we had to write about this.)

2020 presidential candidates addressed the questions of their constituents and gave hope for a brighter and equal future of the United States. CEOs and entrepreneurs shared their anecdotes on the struggle that is starting from scratch, especially at a racial disadvantage and the discriminatory wealth distribution in the U.S. economy.

And of course, our favorite part of ESSENCE Fest 2019 was the Beauty Carnival. Beauty influencers and wellness experts took the stage to celebrate their inner and outer black beauty. Ya girl Jackie Aina was there meet, greet, and share her lovely talents while the incredible IMAN was presented as the 2019 Beauty Icon Award Honoree for her shade-inclusive brand IMAN cosmetics. 

It is amazing how powerful and loving community can be. It’s also horrifying how a difference in skin color can lead to the oppression, slavery, and abuse of an entire race. We look different. We sound different. We ARE different. But we are human beings who deserve love, tolerance, and equality. 

ESSENCE celebrates the spectacular accomplishments of African-Americans when all odds are placed against them; however, truth be told, there should never have been a reason for this community to have to persist so much due to the color of their skin.

ESSENCE promotes the strength, endurance, and determination of black people who are taking this world by storm. We are confident that this is only the beginning, and that there will be many more celebrations to come! 🙂