Monday, July 7, 2008

Photos of the Day: 2008 Essence Music Festival and Sports Edition

The 2008 Essence Music Festival (the 'Party with a Purpose') presented by Coca Cola was held in New Orleans July 4-6. The festival is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture; featuring an unprecedented three days of cultural celebrations and empowerment seminars and three nights of performances by some of today's greatest African-American artists. A record breaking 270,000 people attended the festival this year.

Essence Festival Mayor's Dinner 2008
Seletha Smith Nagin, Ray Nagin; Michelle Ebanks and Angela Burt-Murray of Essence magazine attend the Mayor's Dinner at Generation Hall on July 3, 2008.

Tyler Perry, Mayor Nagin Essence Festival 2008
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (R) presents a City of New Orleans Proclamation to Actor Tyler Perry (L) at the Tyler Perry and Friends seminar on July 4, 2008.

Essence Festival Youth Outreach 2008
Excited kids from New Orleans attend the Essence Youth Outreach program on July 3, 2008.

Carol's Daughter Essence 2008
Carol's Daughter founder Lisa Price with Seletha Smith Nagin at the Carol's Daughter Charity shopping event, July 3, 2008.

Labelle @ Essence Festival 2008
The original members of the R&B singing group Labelle reunite for a performance: Sarah Dash, Patti Labelle and Nona Hendryx perform on July 5, 2008.

Essence Festival 2008
Journalists Michaela Angela Davis and CNN's Lola Ogunnaike with DJ Beverly Bond attend the festival on July 5, 2008.

Essence Festival 2008
Roland S. Martin, T.D. Jakes and Hill Harper attend the festival.

Cosby @ Essence Festival 2008
Bill Cosby addressing the crowd on Day 2, July 5, 2008.

The festival hosted three full days of free and open-to-the-public socio-political dialogue, spiritual inspiration and motivation led by dynamic speakers. This year, ESSENCE partnered with CNN for a special presentation themed "Reclaiming the Dream", led by CNN correspondents Roland S. Martin and Soledad O'Brien. For the festival's 15th anniversary next July, it was announced that Grammy award winning superstar Beyonce will headline the event.

In sports news, NY Giants Michael Strahan held his 2008 Strahan/Dreier charity golf tournament on June 30th:

Strahan Golf Tournament June 2008
With Michael at the tournament pre-party are Alicia Keys and Marc Dreier that benefited Children's Rights and Keep A Child Alive at TAO, June 29th in New York City.

Venus Williams
Venus Williams beat lil' sis Serena to capture her fifth Wimbledon championship on July 5th. Venus stated afterwards: "I'm definitely more in tune with my sister's feelings because one of us has to win, and one of us has to lose. The celebration isn't as exciting because my sister just lost."

Cullen Jones
Black freestyle swimming star Cullen Jones finished in third place in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic trials this past Saturday. According to Wikipedia, Jones is the first African American to hold or share a world record in freestyle swimming.

Photos: Wireimage/Getty