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“Forever First Lady” Michelle Obama Will Headline 25th ESSENCE Fest

NEW ORLEANS DATA NEWS WEEKLY — ESSENCE Communications, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women, today announced that former First Lady Michelle Obama will headline its 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans, LA, taking place July 4-7, 2019. On the heels of the historic success of her book Becoming, the appearance will mark Mrs. Obama’s first engagement at the Festival and will include a sit-down interview on July 6 at the Louisiana Superdome. Mrs. Obama also appeared on the December 2018 cover of ESSENCE magazine and will contribute the monthly closing article – A Word – to the July/August issue.

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By Data Staff Writers

ESSENCE Communications, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women, today announced that former First Lady Michelle Obama will headline its 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans, LA, taking place July 4-7, 2019. On the heels of the historic success of her book Becoming, the appearance will mark Mrs. Obama’s first engagement at the Festival and will include a sit-down interview on July 6 at the Louisiana Superdome. Mrs. Obama also appeared on the December 2018 cover of ESSENCE magazine and will contribute the monthly closing article – A Word – to the July/August issue.

The 2019 ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola, the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience, is a one-of-a-kind epicenter and celebration of global Black culture and continues to reach new heights with a focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development. The Festival now attracts more than 500,000 attendees each weekend and surpasses every national music, entertainment, and cultural festival based on average daily attendance.

“We are indescribably thrilled and honored to have ‘Forever First Lady’ Michelle Obama as a part of our 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival, which will mark our most exciting and extensive programming to date,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications. “As inspiring and aspirational as it is relatable, Mrs. Obama’s story – told on her own terms – is a remarkable example and celebration of everyday Black women who accomplish extraordinary things, who confront challenges with courage and truth, and who remind us that all things are possible when we support one another. Over 25 years, the Festival has done just that – becoming a cultural home for millions of Black women to honor, celebrate and engage each other in service and sisterhood, laughter and love, and empowerment and community.”

The 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival will have its largest footprint ever, spanning more than 10 venues across New Orleans and encompassing several new and enhanced curated experiences. These include the Global Black Economic Forum; Fashion House; Wellness House; ESSENCE Black Excellence Awards; ESSENCE Food & Wine Festival; ESSENCE Music Festival; Beauty Carnival; ESSENCE After Dark; ESSENCE Film & TV Festival; Power Stage; E-Suite; ESSENCE Marketplace; and ESSENCE Day of Service/Girls United.

In addition to Mrs. Obama’s appearance, an epic ‘homecoming’ musical line-up of more than 80 performers is slated at the Louisiana Superdome – including Mary J. Blige, Nas, Missy Elliott, H.E.R., Big Freedia, Davido, Frankie Beverly, Jermaine Dupri, MC Lyte, Pharrell Williams, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike (RBRM), Sheila E., Teddy Riley, Teyana Taylor, Timbaland, and –more– EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00AM ET, THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019 Michelle Obama Headlines 2019 ESSENCE Festival – cont. p. 2 more. A 25th anniversary celebration of 1994’s most culturally impactful and transformative albums that redefined pop culture will also be curated and performed by the original artists. These include Mary J. Blige’s My Life, Nas’ Illmatic, Brandy’s Brandy, Method Man’s Tical, Scarface’s Diary, Big Daddy Kane’s Daddy’s Home, Da Brat’s Funkdafied, Slick Rick’s Behind Bars and Brownstone’s From the Bottom Up.

Weekend and single-night ticket packages for the evening Music Festival concert series are on sale now. For the first time ever, ESSENCE is introducing the 2019 Weekend VIP Power Pass, which provides access to a premium experience at all of the Festival’s ticketed events throughout the weekend, including the evening Music Festival, Fashion House, Beauty Carnival, ESSENCE Day in the Park, Wellness House and Power Stage, among other experiences to be announced.

For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival® visit Essence.com/festival.

This article originally appeared in New Orleans Data News Weekly

Art

Actor Clarence Williams III, 81

Williams was an actor from 1960 to 2018 and was best known for his roles as Linc in “The Mod Squad” (and his signature line, solid) (1968-1973) and Prince’s father in “Purple Rain” in 1984.

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Actor Clarence Williams III

Actor Clarence Williams III was born on Aug. 21, 1939 in New York, New York and died on June 4, 2021 of colon cancer in Los Angeles, California.

Williams was an actor from 1960 to 2018 and was best known for his roles as Linc in “The Mod Squad” (and his signature line, solid) (1968-1973) and Prince’s father in “Purple Rain” in 1984.

He acted in the theatre, on television and in film.

On “The Mod Squad” Williams was one of the first Black actors to have a lead role on a television series. Following in the footsteps of Bill Cosby and Diahann Carroll.

Cosby recommended Williams for his role as Linc.

He was married to actress Gloria Foster from 1967 to 1984 when they divorced.  Foster died in 2001.

Williams is survived by his daughter, Jamey Phillips.

Wikipedia, The New York Times, and CNN were sources for this story.

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Bay Area

Vice Mayor: Business Group Wants to Buy Coliseum, Attract WNBA Team

The group will provide additional details of its effort at a news conference at 11:00 a.m. Friday at a site to be determined.

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Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan.

Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan said a local business group has made serious inroads to buy the city’s 50% stake in the Oakland Coliseum complex and to bring a WNBA team to the city.
Kaplan’s office shared a news release Monday about the effort by the African American Sports and Entertainment Group.

Kaplan said the group is in negotiations with the Oakland-Alameda Joint Powers Authority, has submitted a formal proposal to WNBA officials, and has submitted a term sheet to the city, which the City Council’s rules committee recently voted to advance to the full council for a vote.

The group will provide additional details of its effort at a news conference at 11:00 a.m. Friday at a site to be determined.

“I am pleased that there is such great interest in doing an important development at the Oakland Coliseum that will provide jobs, revenue and community positivity,” Kaplan said. “My goal is to help this process move forward before the summer recess.”

Kaplan said the group has the backing of more than 30 community groups of faith-based institutions, labor organizations, civic leaders, and job development organizations. She did not name the groups

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Books

Marcus Books at 60, the Oldest Black Bookstore in the U.S.

You can check out the titles they have in stock by visiting https://www.marcusbooks.com/ The store is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00-4:00 p.m.

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Image provided from Marcus Book Store Facebook page

Marcus Books is a Black-owned bookstore located at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, CA 94609. Named for United Negro Improvement leader and author Marcus Garvey, the store was founded by Tuskegee College graduates Julian and Rae Richardson in 1960. In the ensuing decades they have sold books produced by Black, independent publishers, authors, poets, and artists and hosted talks by a who’s who of Black writers ranging from the late Toni Morrison, to Michael Eric Dyson and Sistah Soldier. There is a substantial collection of books for children as well. Online shopping is also available. You can check out the titles they have in stock by visiting https://www.marcusbooks.com/ The store is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00-4:00 p.m.

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