Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert + Family Get Gorgeous Curls With Design Essentials

Teyana Taylor, Iman Shumpert along with their daughters Junie and Rue graced the April cover of EBONY Magazine with their natural curls on display styled with Design Essentials.

Hairstylist Tahira Zaus prepped Junie’s hair by washing with Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($12.99), Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Conditioner ($13.99) and did a 3 ponytail Mohawk using the Honey Curl Forming Custard ($17.99). For Iman and Teyana, Tahira opted for the Almond & Avocado Detangling Leave-In Conditioner ($13.99) and finished off both their styles with the Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse ($16.99).

THE ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PLANS FULL RETURN TO NEW ORLEANS IN JULY 2022

Essence Communications, Inc., the leading media, technology and commerce company dedicated to serving Black women and communities, today announced the full return of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture to New Orleans from June 30 – July 3, 2022.

After pivoting to a virtual experience in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the ESSENCE Festival will host a fully live gathering for the first time in two years, celebrating the culture and resilience of the Black community with the theme “It’s the Black Joy for Me!”  In addition, with its strong digital performance – including a 65% increase in Festival content streams from 2020 (45 million) to 2021 (70+ million), the ESSENCE Festival of Culture will build on the global audience gained via its virtual programming to continue to deliver a comprehensive and engaging digital experience to attendees both live and around the world.

“The reimagining of the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans – fully physical and fully digital – experience will be epic,” said Caroline Wanga, CEO, Essence Communications, Inc. “Given what we have collectively experienced over the last two years, the opportunity to convene and uplift in the spirit of culture, equity, celebration – and joy – is more of a privilege and honor than it has ever been. We look forward to our homecoming in the City of New Orleans and to strengthening our impact as a cornerstone of Black culture, entrepreneurship and economic inclusion – working always to serve Black women and communities deeply.”

The unparalleled live experience will include almost one million square feet of space for empowerment programming (networking, finance, career, wellness, fashion, beauty and more) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, nightly concerts at Caesars Superdome and other entertaining and inspirational activations in venues across the city.  The Festival’s robust digital programming will include live streaming of select on-the-ground activities in New Orleans, as well as new and exclusive digital content and experiences created for the live and virtual audiences.

“We are elated to announce the return of the ESSENCE Festival to New Orleans in the Summer of 2022,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “ESSENCE brings so much to our city and our economy, and I can’t wait to see what this year has to offer. The City of New Orleans and the ESSENCE Festival are inextricably linked through our remarkable history and our steadfast focus on and commitment to culture, community, and economic inclusion.  We look forward to continuing this partnership to create an even deeper legacy of impact and inclusion for our city and for all who will join us in July to make this experience the best yet.”

Launched in 1995 as an event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture has since evolved into the world’s largest celebration of Black women, culture and communities.  Regularly convening more than 530,000 people annually over July 4th weekend in New Orleans, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is now also the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance.

Additional details regarding the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture – including ticketing, schedules, talent line-up, COVID protocols (based on recommended guidance from Public Health Agencies and the City of New Orleans), and more – will be released in January 2022.  Visit www.essencefestival.com for the latest information.

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.

Essence Communications is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities.  With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration.  The brand’s multi-platform presence in/ publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA ANNOUNCES 2021 VIRTUAL DAYTIME AND NIGHTTIME LINE-UP

ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announces its daytime and nighttime schedule for its virtual 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. With the theme “Live Loud,” ESSENCE curated an invaluable hybrid experience that offers the best of in-person and virtual worlds via a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of Black communities and the omnipresence of our culture. Under strict adherence to guidance from local health agencies, ESSENCE produced live-to-tape activations in early June available only to New Orleans and Louisiana residents honoring essential workers and first responders. As a result, the entire Festival will present a “taste of New Orleans” with a full schedule of can’t-miss content centered around culture, equity and celebration—and a tribute to the city that the Festival has always called home.

It will be broadcast on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com–Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4. In addition, for the first time, this year’s Festival will host a live Verzuz battle to remember on Thursday, July 1, with soon to be announced guests. For more details, visit ESSENCE.com.

The Festival’s virtual programming will include powerful daytime interactive sessions and star-studded evening concerts and connections. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Amerie, Tank, Kirk Franklin, Davido, Lucky Daye, Carl Thomas, D-Nice and more. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase leading voices throughout the two weekends including: Mary J. BligeAngela Yee, Michelle Williams, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes RobertsTracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart and more. See below for highlights across the two weekends: 

THURSDAY, JULY 1: 

  • ESSENCE Dear Black Men (6 PM-8 PM): ESSENCE Studios presents Dear Black Men—an all-male summit that salutes the contributions of our brothers who speak vulnerably about their respective experiences as family men, community advocates and leaders of this generation.  
  • ESSENCE Festival Verzuz Battle (LIVE at 8 PM-10 PM) 

FRIDAYS: 

  • PITCH, Please! New Voices Pitch Competition (3 PM-4 PM EST): Tune in to PITCH PLEASE!, powered by Pull Up for Change’s Impact Fund and the New Voices Foundation to watch up-and-coming Black women-owned beauty brands make their pitch to change the beauty business game! During this pitch competition, eight Black women founders will compete for cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, plus valuable business coaching to launch and execute or grow and scale their beautiful entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Coca-Cola Juke Joint Kick Off with D-Nice (6/25 ONLY 5:30pm-6pm EST) : D-Nice kicks off the party with a set of our favorite songs from New Orleans at the historic Howling Wolf Venue.
  • ESSENCE Beauty Carnival [6 PM-10 PM (ET)]: Enjoy presentations from industry insiders and top brands on makeup, skin, body, and hair care that provide a fresh perspective on caring for and embracing the hair and skin you’re in. Speakers include: Adrienne Houghton, Melyssa Ford, Claudia Jordan, LisaRaye, Supacent, Miss Lawrence, Big Freedia, Demetria Lucas, India.Arie, Tina Knowles and more.
  • ESSENCE GU After Dark [10PM-11 PM (ET)]: Tune in for music curated by ESSENCE’s Girls United brought to you by your favorite rising stars. Featuring performances by Raiche, Tayla Parx & Makenzie and also a world premiere music video by MuMu Fresh.

SATURDAYS:

  • Wealth & Power [1 PM-5 PM (ET)]: Discover how to be an agent of change during this virtual town hall. Topics include tools for investing, business, entrepreneurship, policy, voting and more. Speakers include: June Ambrose, Jemele Hill, Tamika Mallory, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, Angela Yee, D-Nice and others.  In addition, watch a  special segment featuring our Black Female Mayors.
  • Entertainment All-Access [5 PM-7 PM (ET)]: Catch your Hollywood faves in Q&A’s and be the first to watch exclusive sneak peeks of the hottest upcoming releases! With appearances by: Gina Torres, Lil Rel, Yvonne Orji, Yandy Smith, Mary J. Blige and more.
  • Evening Concert Series [7 PM-10:30 PM (ET)]: ESSENCE® is giving you Saturday Night Vibes with our legendary evening concert series with a must-see lineup (*scroll down for talent line-up.)

SUNDAYS:

  • ESSENCE Wellness House [10 AM-1 PM (ET)]: A multi-faceted collective of self-care resources for you! Through our curated sessions, you will walk away equipped with the resources to prioritize your nutrition, spirit, relationships, and more.
  • Get Lifted Gospel Sunday Celebration [1 PM-3 PM (ET)]: Get your spirits lifted as the annual all-star Gospel tribute hits your screen for two Sundays back to back! Tune in for powerful words of praise by your favorite spiritual leaders and music by your favorite gospel artists. Performances by Kirk Franklin & Friends, Israel Houghton and more.

WEEK 1 (Saturday Evening Concert Line-up): 

SATURDAY, 6/26: 

  • Ha Sizzle 
  • Teedra Moses 
  • KES 
  • Lucky Daye 
  • Tank 
  • Jazmine Sullivan 

WEEK 2 (Saturday Evening Concert Line-up): 

SATURDAY, 7/3: 

  • Case 
  • Carl Thomas 
  • D-Nice, Ne-Yo and Amerie 
  • Davido 
  • DJ Khaled and Friends 

*Artists and schedules are subject to change. 

For more information, pick up the July/August “ESSENCE Festival of Culture” split-cover issue, featuring headliner Jazmine Sullivan on the cover. To register or for a full line-up, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @EssenceFest. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. Sponsors of the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Estée Lauder, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Walmart as well as premium sponsors AT&T, Disney and UnitedHealthcare.

Juneteenth Recipes for our Soul! – The Urban Martha Stewart

Growing up in Los Angeles, My parents were very involved in the Black movement but I didn’t really learn and absorb Black history until I went away to college at UC Berkeley and enrolled into an African American Studies classes with the infamous Dr. Harry Edwards. He rocked my world on African American Studies and I remember calling my mom crying asking her why she didn’t teach about our Black history?
For the full story and recipes please visit Ali in the Valley!

Tyler Perry in First Trailer for ‘Tyler Perry: Man of Many Faces

From a traumatic childhood to the redemptive role of faith, discover the rags-to-riches rise of Tyler Perry, one of America’s most respected entertainers in the new feature-length biography ‘Tyler Perry: Man of Many Faces’ from Legacy Distribution.

The feature-length biography ‘Tyler Perry: Man of Many Faces’ is now available on Roku Channel, Google Play, XUMO, Glewed, STIRR, and LocalNow.

Produced by Dana Webber and distributed by Legacy Distribution.

FIVE WAYS BLACK WOMEN CAN FEEL EMPOWERED ON JUNETEENTH

On June 19th, 2021, millions of Americans will come together to honor a key piece of American history; Juneteenth — the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

“Understand the history,” says Dr. Sonja Stribling, Life Coach for the Black American Woman, “but utilize this date to empower yourself, as empowerment is what this day is all about!” Stribling, a Certified Life and Business Coach recently featured in Black Press of America, Good Day D.C., and KDRV-TV, has coached and mentored over 300,000 women.

As the daughter of a farmer and housekeeper from Arkansas, Dr. Sonja Stribling is a retired US Army Major who spent 21 years in the United States Military. Stribling went from poverty to millionaire. Here, Dr. Stibling offers five tips to help Black women feel empowered this June 19th, 2021:

Understand Your History: Juneteenth can be a launch point to delve into your own personal history. Try journaling to understand how your past has shaped who you are today.

Know When to Say NO: Evaluate Your Boundaries, find power and strength in knowing when it’s best for you to say no to an event, a person, or anything you don’t want to do. Equally important is knowing when to ask for help.

Draw Your Road Map To P.O.W.E.R: (Possibilities, Opportunities, Wealth, Wellbeing, Worth, Excellence and Responsibility). Seize the possibilities and opportunities open to you, recognize your worth, reinvest in yourself to build wealth, prioritize your wellbeing, approach ALL aspects of life with excellence and share the responsibility of helping others.

Make A Routine Ritual: Treat yourself, every single day. Start by finding something you love to do. Each day, set aside at least five minutes to do that exact same thing. The mind will look forward to this routine self-time.

Share Your Story: Don’t just post to social media, talk to people in your life. Share your story to empower your loved ones and yourself. You never know who needs to hear what you’ve been through.

Dr. Sonja’s Bio:
Dr. Sonja Stribling, Ph.D. is a Business Strategist, Public Speaker and the Founder of the Born to Be Powerful Academy, a company that empowers women with the confidence and skills to dominate their personal and professional lives. A former clinical counselor and 21-year Army Retired Major, Dr. Sonja uses her training and experience to lead thousands to their victory by using their inner power to ascend to their next level in life and business.
This mother of three boys and divorcee, knows all too well the mindset of a woman who wants more but has to constantly fight multiple times harder than others. Becoming a mother at 15, before being raped and left for dead at 17-years-old, Dr. Sonja joined the military and spent the next 21 years serving three combat tours in a male-dominated field.
Known as the ‘General to Giants’ and is the Best-Selling Author of “The Divorce That Saved My Life,” this 21-year Army Retired Major and recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award (by President Barack Obama), is a National Speaker for the Think & Grow Rich The Legacy World Tour, and former TV Host on Bravo Network.  Dr. Sonja has been featured in outlets such as Bustle, KTLA, Good Day DC, The Ladders, Influencive and more.

Instagram: @IamDrSonja
Facebook: @IamDrSonja

ESSENCE FESTIVAL OF CULTURE PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA ANNOUNCES ITS 2021 “LIVE LOUD” VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE

ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announces its stellar talent line-up for its 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. Incorporating virtual for the second year in light of the pandemic, this year’s event will live up to its theme of “Live Loud” by featuring exciting content across all of its stages centered around culture, equity and celebration. As the nation continues to reopen, ESSENCE’s exciting and elevated hybrid experience will present a celebration of the resilience, power and achievement of our community and omnipresence of our culture — and a tribute to the city that the Festival has always called home. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Tank, Michelle Williams, Kirk Franklin, Davido and D-Nice. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase leading voices throughout the two weekends including: Mary J. Blige, Angela Yee, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Tracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart  and more. The Festival will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com—Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4.

“The ESSENCE Festival of Culture, now the largest festival in the nation by per day attendance, is an unparalleled convening and celebration of global Black culture and continues to have even deeper impact on our communities via our expanded focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development,” said Latraviette Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “As a live experience, the ESSENCE Festival normally attracts more than 500,000 attendees annually during July 4th weekend in New Orleans — but last year, we made the necessary decision to shift our multi-day celebration to an innovative virtual format due to COVID-19. The ESSENCE Festival was the first of its kind and scale to be executed virtually during the pandemic, and our team worked tirelessly to deliver the content, programming and resources that our community desired. As a result, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture provided much-needed, only-at-ESSENCE content and experiences that inspired, entertained, informed and empowered—resulting in 45+ million full-stream views of 2020 Festival content to date. This year, we are thrilled to bring forth another exciting talent line-up, curated programming and a new hybrid experience that will directly touch the people of New Orleans and Louisiana while also further extending our reach, engagement and impact via enhanced digital, technology and streaming capabilities to connect more of our community in the U.S. and across the diaspora.”

For the 2021 Festival experience and under strict adherence to guidance from local health agencies, ESSENCE will produce live activations available only to New Orleans and Louisiana residents— honoring essential workers and first responders—that will be integrated into the virtual experience during both weekends.

For more information and to register, visit www.essencefestival.com. Join the conversation via social @EssenceFest. The ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. Sponsors of the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Estée Lauder, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Walmart as well as premium sponsors AT&T, Disney and UnitedHealthcare.

14TH ANNUAL ESSENCE BLACK WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD AWARDS AND 2ND ANNUAL ESSENCE HOLLYWOOD HOUSE

Building on its years of providing platforms to ensure Black creatives “receive their flowers” for their contributions to Hollywood and global culture, ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, today announced the honorees for its highly-anticipated 14th annual Black Women in Hollywood and feature programming for its 2nd annual Hollywood House. As the yearly can’t-miss event for Black Hollywood taking place during Oscars Week since 2008, the Black Women in Hollywood experience spotlights some of the most renowned and accomplished women leading at the forefront of the film, television and creative industry and has now honored 65 Black actresses, directors, producers, writers, costume designers and more. This year’s stellar roster of honorees include EGOT winner, producer and entrepreneur Whoopi Goldberg (The View, The Stand); GRAMMY, EMMY and TONY Award-winning and OSCAR-nominated actress, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo  (Genius: Aretha, Harriet); EMMY Award-winning actress/producer Zendaya (Malcolm and Marie, Euphoria); writer, actress and showrunner Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You); and Golden Globe winner, Oscar-nominated actress and GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), who will also perform. The event will be hosted by actress and producer Laverne Cox (Promising Young Woman and Disclosure). Presenters will be announced at a later date.

Previously produced as an invite-only luncheon, this year’s ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood will be streamed as a virtual experience for the first time and will air Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 7-10 P.M. (ET) on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com. The theme, “Mastering Our Stories,” will focus on the resiliency of Black women in Hollywood through the years—including during the unprecedented pandemic.

“ESSENCE has demonstrated our commitment to highlighting the power and resiliency of Black women for 50 years, and part of that has included creating opportunities to uplift and recognize each other when no one else would,” said Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson, ESSENCE Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer. “In a world where finally the needs and contributions of Black women are increasingly – though not always sustainably – being acknowledged in new ways, ESSENCE’s platforms such as Black Women in Hollywood remain unparalleled cultural forums that uniquely convene us in celebration and encouragement of each other and in recognition of the perseverance, fortitude, grace and innovation that have been required on our journeys. ESSENCE is incredibly proud to celebrate all our Black Women in Hollywood honorees for their immense talent and achievements, as well as for being a voice for Black women everywhere in ways that may not always be apparent and in rooms where we may not always be present. We see you. We hear you. We honor you.”

“Every year, we start our planning for ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood with one important question: What stories amplified Black women’s experiences?” said Cori Murray, ESSENCE Deputy Editor and co-producer of Black Women in Hollywood since its inception. “This year’s honorees and their individual projects have helped reframe and expand the narrative of Black women’s joy, pain, challenges and triumphs on screen that have allowed so many of us to see pieces of our own lives within. With the added layer of the pandemic, these master storytellers have kept us sane and more importantly, seen.”

In addition, ESSENCE’s Oscar week activities will culminate with its second annual ESSENCE Hollywood House, which will be held on Friday, April 23rd. Hosted by actress Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time, The Invisible Man), ESSENCE Hollywood House was developed to provide compelling and engaging live content aimed at sparking meaningful conversation and action to drive more inclusion in Hollywood, as well as to provide an opportunity for Black creatives – aspiring and established – to educate, collaborate and empower one another with a purpose. The experience features thought leaders, industry stakeholders and members of the creative community including actors, directors, writers, showrunners, studio heads and others who will lead a curated schedule of interactive conversations, virtual panels, masterclasses, fireside chats and more. (Reid will also host the Black Women in Hollywood red carpet pre-show.) Presenters will be announced at a later date. To register or for more details, visit ESSENCE.com.

ESSENCE’s upcoming May/June 2021 issue (on newsstands in April) will feature its annual Black Women in Hollywood package highlighting each honoree. Stay tuned to ESSENCE.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and ESSENCE Hollywood House. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are presented by Ford and sponsored by L’Oréal Paris.

For more details on the 2021 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, visit ESSENCE.com/BWIH. ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and ESSENCE Hollywood House are produced by ESSENCE Communications, Inc.

Vice President Kamala Harris inspires in First Trailer for ‘VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: CHASE THE DREAM’

Legacy Distribution is proud to present Vice President Kamala Harris: Chase The Dream, a revealing feature-length biography that traces the tenacious and trailblazing prosecutor from Oakland, California, to the White House.
Executive Produced by Dana Webber (Michelle Obama: Life After The White House) and Brian Aebech, this new documentary brings to light the pivotal events in Harris’ life which fueled her journey to the highest-ranking office of any female in U.S. history.
Featured Photo:  USNews.com
Vice President Kamala Harris: Chase The Dream is now available on Amazon Prime. Link Here.
Chase The Dream captures the issues, the debates, the political deftness, and the campaign-winning smile, which helped lead Kamala Harris to the White House. On January 21, 2021, at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Kamala Harris took her place in history, not only realizing one of her dreams, but inspiring generations ahead to chase theirs.