As a South Louisiana native, the Essence Music Festival has been a must every summer of my life.
Whether it was spending endless days around the Convention Center with the family or hitting the Day Parties with my girls, Essence Festival has been priority every summer since I was a child. Naturally, this past summer was no different. However, this summer, I thought it would be fun to bring Black Girl Today along for the 3 days of fun! So, I compiled a quick photo diary/journal entry of my favorite moments of this year’s Essence Fest.
1. I attended New Orleans Natural Hair Expo & Brunch.
This year, I made sure I was in attendance at the NONHE and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! There was such a vast amount of products and vendors and the inventory surprisingly exceeded hair care. There were clothes, jewelry and much more! Not to mention, the enjoyment of being surrounded by such innovative, ambitious black women. It was informative and inspiring all at once. Plus, the brunch was beautifully executed. There was a beautiful layout, with phenomenal food. Bloggers were everywhere and everyone was so down-to-earth. I will definitely be in attendance next year.
2. I met Algee Smith from The New Edition Story.
I was overly excited to meet Algee Smith, who portrayed Ralph in BET’s “The New Edition Story.” I am a huge fan of New Edition and followed the film during from its early stages to the actual premiere. I literally held a viewing party (featured below) for it and everything! (Don’t judge, my guests loved it!) So, it was so pleasant to chat with Algee briefly as he did promo for his upcoming film, Detroit. He was so personable and had such a great energy! I definitely was not disappointed.
3. I had a photoshoot with Lance Gross.
My close friends and family know that Lance Gross was one of the few celebrity crushes I had from Junior High School well into adulthood. If someone would have told me then that I would have met him and been able to get a professional photograph taken by him, I would have thought they were joking. The man is everything you imagined, ladies! Let’s just leave it there. Aside from my childish fancy of Lance, I have admired his photography skills for quite some time. The experience was definitely one for the books!
4. I attended the Essence Premiere of Insecure, Season Two.
Essence apparently allows attendees to reserve passes to attend special screening with the cast members of various televisions shows and films. Due to the determination of a dear friend, I was fortunate enough to get access to the Season Two premiere of HBO’s Insecure with the cast members and directors of the show for free! The cast was amazing and extremely fun to be around. Not to mention, the Season Two opener was bananas!
5. I saw Chance The Rapper perform!
The big finale to my fun-filled weekend in Black Girl Heaven was seeing Chance The Rapper perform live. I have been a fan of Chance since “Cocoa Butter Kisses” so I definitely could not let him be this close to me and not support. As expected, the performance was nothing short of magical!