The Essence Music Festival will take a moment from all of the great music and partying to push for justice and equal treatment.
Organizers for the four-day event have carved out time for a “Peace, Power and Purpose Rally” to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This is a moment where we really have an opportunity to serve our community in a very different way and we’re taking it,” Essence’s Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca told The Huffington Post.
The event will add a little more depth to the national conversation by talking about the situations that have brought this problem to the forefront and taking a closer look at what the movement hopes to accomplish. The discussion will also examine the problems facing Black people and their families.
As much as the Essence Festival is about having a good time, the magazine is looking forward to bringing some levity to the occasion and allowing attendees to talk about their concerns. De Luca added, “What better place than the festival to bring harsh conversations to light and deliver solutions?”
Essence will be making it a point to put a spotlight on Black women, who are often forgotten about in the conversations about the impact of racism, policy brutality and other social injustice facing the Black community.
“There are women’s voices represented throughout the weekend and I have no doubt that they’ll address the very real issue around how people are looking at social justice affecting black women,” De Luca said. “I think that’s going to be critical.”
To that point, one way the magazine will be looking at the Black Lives Matter movement from a female perspective is with a keynote speech from Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.
The rally will be one part of the Essence Empowerment Experience, so revelers will have plenty of chances to get in on the conversation.