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The 50th anniversary of Essence was supposed to be a party. The groundbreaking black women’s lifestyle magazine’s annual Essence Festival in New Orleans is already the largest African-American cultural and music event in the U.S., so it’s easy to imagine how lavish this summer’s fest would have been. But given ongoing social distancing measures, the event has gone online and will be livestreamed over the Fourth of July weekend.
Although the expected live celebrations are out, Essence has quickly adapted the magazine’s overall purpose in its 50th year—becoming a crucial resource for information, support and fundraising as the Covid-19 pandemic has