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#BlackGirlMagic: Essence Fest 2019

Festival season is right around the corner and my personal fave just dropped their 2019 line up and I couldn't be more hyped. Essence Fest is the epitome of black excellence not to mention #BlackGirlMagic. From the music, to the fashion, to the hair, to the melanin— the ambiance is unbeatable.

People flood the streets of New Orleans for two reasons: Mardi Gras and Essence Fest. For those that aren't familiar with Essence Fest here is a brief history lesson; The event sponsored by Essence Magazine was established in 1995. The festival was founded to mark the 25th anniversary of Essence Magazine and was said to be a one-time thing to celebrate the publications milestone. However, the festival was such a success that it has blossomed into an annual culturally rich music and arts festival.

The festival is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American talent. With its empowering seminars and acclaimed concerts, the festival markets itself as “the party with a purpose” offering a variety of events aimed toward African American women.

This year the festival is celebrating 25 years “Of moving the culture forward!” With over 80 of the biggest names in music set to perform, this years Essence fest will be unforgettable.

Aside from the highly anticipated musical performances, the festival is a place where black women can be themselves and express themselves unapologetically with no bounds. Through fashions and hairstyles every woman entering the festival is guaranteed to make a statement.

Essence Street style has been a trend for the magazine as the festival season approaches. According to Essence Magazine, “ESSENCE Street Style isn’t just about celebrating our style but also rejoicing our beauty.”

Taking place in the peak of summertime, the outfit opportunities are virtually endless. At last years festival the biggest trend I noticed was vibrant and bold prints. Anywhere from tribal to floral, prints were huge, almost as huge as the hair.

Photos Courtesy: Essence

As you admire festival goers style you can appreciate the craftsmanship of their hair as well.

Natural hairstyles are always a hit at the Essence fest, also considering New Orleans is extremely humid, going there with straight hair would be a struggle to say the least.

The braids, the locs and the afros all embody the beauty, strength and independence black women represent while making it their own by adding beads, flower crowns, ribbon and head wraps.

Photo Courtesy: Essence

The festivities kicks off Independence day weekend lasting 3 days (July 4-7) an experience you and your squad will be talking about for years to come with performances by: Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, NAS, H.E.R, Jermaine Dupri, Pharell Williams, Teyana Taylor, City Girls, Normani and many more! Hosted by comedian and TheReal talk show host Loni Love, there won’t be room for a dull moment. So grab your squad and your tickets to experience all the #BlackGirlMagic Essence brings.

See you in NOLA!

Kendell Ryan

Columbia Chicago '20

LA girl bringing a west coast vibe to Chicago
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