HBO Takes on ESSENCE Music Festival 2019 with a Dope Series of Events

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

HBO showed up and showed out for the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE Music Fest! With back to back events that brought you up close and personal with self, our community and black women on the rise, HBO did not disappoint in creating unforgettable moments and conversations. The Loft HBO in NOLA was the place to be, the place to laugh, the place to learn and the place to be inspired.

Kicking off the celebratory weekend on Friday, July 5th as a continuation of HBO's Human by Orientation initiative, HBO partnered with Queer | Art for an exhibition featuring the artwork of Lola Flash. Human By Orientation is a platform that highlights the universal humanity of all people regardless of ethnicity, orientation or gender identity. The campaign encourages the powerful dialogue needed to humanize the LGBTQ+ community as multifaceted individuals with experiences that celebrate otherness.

Lola Flash; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Lola Flash; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

 

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

From her website and her body of work you’ll learn that Flash uses photography to challenge stereotypes and offer new ways of seeing that transcend and interrogate gender, sexual, and racial norms.

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Next up, early Saturday, July 6th was the ultimate morning workout session that fueled all the positives vibes. Motivation & Movement with Angela Manuel, international fitness evangelist and motivational coach, was the perfect cup of coffee to jump start your day and energize your body, spirit and mind.

Angela Manuel; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Angela Manuel; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

If there’s one thing that can certainly get you hooked on any show, a comedic tone is one of them. From some of the ladies who know this best, HBO held their HBO POV: Black Ladies in Comedy Brunch where Insecure's Natasha Rothwell (Supervising Producer & Actress) joined A Black Lady Sketch Show's Dime Davis (Director) and Lauren Ashley Smith (Head Writer) spoke about creating comedic hits, being a black woman at the top of your game, and the process of rising to the top. The conversation was moderated by The Read's Crissle West.

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

This intimate brunch and conversation celebrating black women in comedy was not only epic, but without a doubt, hilariously refreshing.

Robin Thede; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Robin Thede; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

And if the brunch wasn’t enough, early evening this day HBO also hosted A Black Lady Sketch Show Screening, Panel, and Mixer where the stars of A Black Lady Sketch Show - Robin Thede (Creator), Quinta Brunson, Ashley Nicole Black, and Gabrielle Dennis - sat down to discuss the need for A Black Lady Sketch Show, the process of its creation, and what to expect this season.

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

The incredible fans came out in numbers, but the celebs also showed up in support of the cast and show as well!

Lena Waithe; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Lena Waithe; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Broderick Hunter; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Broderick Hunter; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Rhapsody; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Rhapsody; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Roy Wood Jr.; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

Roy Wood Jr.; Photo Courtesy of Dorothy Hong

To close out an already amazing line up events, on Sunday, July 7th, HBO in partnership with Black Girl in Om, hosted a special yoga session complete with a workout as well as affirmations in The Loft. What a perfect send off!

HBO_Essence19_4058.jpg