Essence 2014 has come and gone for me, but was and will always be a great memory!! I made a 9 minute video of some of the things I witnessed and experienced on my Essence adventure. After you watch the video, scroll down and read about my day by day experience! Essence 2014 was fab!!
My friend Aseelah and I planned all year to attend Essence and we had a great time. We landed in New Orleans at 9am Thursday morning and immediately hit the ground running. We checked into our hotel and hit the streets.
I was selected as a My Black is Beautiful (along with Niche Parent Network) as a Social Media Correspondent for Essence so I was ready to Turn Up!!
Thursday: Essence started the weekend with a family picnic. We walked around Bourbon St. and I ended up being on the news. We then found our way to the convention center and explored The Riverwalk scenary. Later that night, we changed and walked Bourbon street again. I guess it’s the place to visit while in NOLA.
Friday: We headed to the convention center with wide eyes. It was so much to see and do while inside there. My Black is Beautiful, McDonalds, Ford, Coca-Cola, Walmart, MSNBC, and more had booths, empowerment sessions and more. You could easily spend hours in there meeting people, enjoying the music, participating in discussions and even spending money.
Highlight: During my time at the My Black is Beautiful Booth, I was able to interview Ms. Lisa Nichols!! She is a motivational speaker and best selling author. I was very surprised. I knew I would meet her, but interview her caused my hands to shake. We talked about mediation and her recent partnership with Steve Harvey. Please look out for that post in the next few days.
Friday Night: One word, Prince! Honestly, I didn’t have a real desire to see him. He is so coy in interviews that I thought he might be the same way on stage. I was WRONG! Prince reminded me of Beyonce & Sasha. Prince came alive on that stage, he was smiling, laughing & dancing with a youthful grace. He looked so good. I would love to know what he eats.
Saturday was another fun filled day. After a nice lunch at Laundry’s Seafood, we headed to the convention center to hear Steve Harvey & Lisa Nichols speak. We then headed to a Media Dinner hosted by Lisa Nichols herself, with special guest The Braxton Sisters. I was also given time to interview the Braxton Sisters about their new partnership with gain. I think the highlight of the evening is that I was able to have a genuine conversation with Tamar and tell her how much I love her cd!
After the dinner, we wanted to go back and change clothes for the concert but it was no time. We headed to the Superdome so we could watch Mary J Blidge. We caught the end of Ledisi’s show and then watched The Roots. They brought out Common, Nelly (who got me up on my feet), Naughty by Nature and Biz Markie. I heard 112 was in the super lounge at the same time. Man, it was a conflict of interest! Jill Scott sounded great but I was ready for the Queen!
Mary J had me rocking the entire time. I have loved her since her very first song, when I was in high school. Here it is 20 + years later, married, 3 kids and I am still rocking to Mary J Blige. She still looks great and was dropping it low! She even performed her new single, Suitcase, from Think Like a Man Too and I love it.
After the concert, we walked back to our hotel room and I packed my suitcase for my 6am departure. The only thing that didn’t happen was me seeing my celebrity boo, Omari Hardwick. He hosted a party Saturday evening, and it conflicted with my other planned events. After the concert, I just couldn’t make it. I should have tried. I will meet him one day. I did get to see some other friend(s) from my hometown so that was wonderful as well.
FlybyJuly: I was still able to get my workouts in while in NOLA, whether it was doing a quick 20 minute video or getting a good 5am morning walk in around my hotel – it didn’t stop. Stay tuned for that post next week.
Did you attend the Essence Festival this year? What were your highlights and lowlights? Did you attend with your boo or bestie?