The 22nd Essence Music Festival was in full affect as millions of subscribers, fans, families and friends converged in New Orleans for a weekend of seminars, workshops, concerts and more! The annual music festival started in 1994 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence, has now become a worldwide festival that features topics focused on the African American Diaspora. This year talk show host, actress and producer Oprah Winfrey made her first visit to the festival, giving festival goers a glimpse into her world as she spoke on standing in your dream and being true to your destiny. Local Jacksonville girlfriend crew, Christa Merix, Jasmine Chanelle and Darianne Stubbs were not disappointed, “attending the Essence Festival allowed us to see #blackgirlmagic in action! We learned that most successful women not only work hard, but play hard as well as pay it forward by giving,” said Jasmine Chanelle.