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Let’s Get Lit: Essence’s 15 best products for summer 2024



Nothing says summer like a warm, sunny day, a cool breeze and a couple of good reads on the beach. And Essence’s 15 best summer products are sure to exceed expectations. Whether you are within the mood for a motivational faith-based book like Preston Perry’s, or you ought to delve into historical fiction like Essie Chambers and Tiya Miles’ Essence, this list covers a various spectrum of genres which are sure to maintain you entertained engagement and entertainment all summer long.

by Preston Perry (May 21, 2024)

Author Preston Perry doesn’t discuss faith and religion. On the contrary, he allows his personal testimony to talk for itself. In his recent book, Perry candidly shares his journey from being a broken inner-city Chicago teenager to evangelizing and inspiring others to follow God and free themselves from the fears of ministry and a lifetime of service to God and others.

by Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton (May 14, 2024)

From two best-selling authors comes an exciting sequel. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones or Avatar: The Last Airbender, you may love this fantasy novel for teens and young adults.

by Onyi Nwabineli (May 23, 2024)

In this timely, contemporary novel, writer Onyi Nwabinela doesn’t draw back from a number of the dangerous pitfalls of social media and the negative impact it could actually have on family dynamics. Since she was a small child, her influential stepmother had promoted and showcased Anuri’s life online. But now that she’s older, she decides to take a stand against her younger siblings being exploited on social media. is certainly a must-read because it diplomatically opposes the supposed advantages of continuously displaying childhood online.

by Trisha R. Thomas (June 4, 2024)

The latest novel from bestselling writer Trisha R. Thomas (is an enthralling novel that protects readers from attack. Set within the small but affluent town of Mendol, Oklahoma within the Nineteen Fifties, it centers on Bailey Dowery, a talented black seamstress wife and the daughter of oil tycoons and businessmen who occur to “see things.” And while Aunt Charlene warns her that it’s best to “stay out of White people’s affairs if they promise to keep it confidential,” Bailey will impart “insight” on their personal matters. their lives Although the town of Mendol appears to be well organized, not every thing is what it seems.

by Essie Chambers (June 4, 2024)

In her debut novel, she was a BET executive Essie Chambers creates a gripping story centered on Diamond Newberry, a black, biracial young woman who begins to find her family’s generational history and the legacy of the “sunset town” that the book takes center stage. What’s most impactful about this story is that it dispels the parable that sunset cities only exist within the South. delves into the psychological and historical trauma of living and navigating the “sunset city”, family secrets, and more.

by Lexi Underwood and Ashley Woodfolk (June 4, 2024)

is the proper summer read for tweens and teenagers. Co-written by best-selling writer Ashley Woodfolk and actress Lexi Underwood, the film presents positive representations of protest for a teenage audience. This book highlights topics reminiscent of art, protest, and the impact that inspiring protest can have on the world. This young adult novel is suitable for ages 12 and up and is dubbed by: comparable to the new edition of “Gossip Girl”.

by Dimali Peterman (June 4, 2024)

Author Damali Peterman knows a thing or two concerning the art of negotiation. As a highly respected lawyer, mediator and mother, Peterman has seen firsthand the advantages of negotiation. With his latest book, Peterman wants people from all walks of life to grasp that negotiations happen not only in boardrooms, but in every area of ​​life. In this book, Peterman shares practical recommendations on find out how to use your authenticity and personality in negotiations. What sets this negotiation book aside from others is its emphasis on applying negotiation to on a regular basis, real life through the lens of multiculturalism and the unique way during which negotiations vary depending on the setting. This book is a must-read for a big selection of demographics, from moms to teachers, business owners and more.

by Kellie Carter Jackson (June 4, 2024)

Hailed as “the most anticipated book of 2024,” historian Kellie Carter Jackson describes the numerous unique ways during which Black people, and particularly Black women, have claimed autonomy over their minds, bodies, and souls. “Carter Jackson urges us to abandon this false choice and recognize the scale of Black resistance, including the use of force – from work stoppages and property destruction to armed rebellion – that has played a critical role in securing freedom and justice for Black people since the American and Haitian Revolutions.”

by Nicola Yoon (June 11, 2024)

From New York Times bestselling writer Nicola Yoon comes an exciting novel that centers on themes of race, privilege, and freedom in America. When the Williams family moves to a complicated, planned Black community, a utopia, they anticipate finding like-minded people fighting for social justice and equality. Instead, Jasmyn discovers that the people of utopia are so content with their privilege and access that they appear desensitized and detached from reality. He soon learns that something rather more sinister and calculating is going on to the founders of the “community”.

by Tiya Miles (June 18)

Activist Harriet Tubman is commonly portrayed in one-dimensional ways, but with this recent history book, writer Tiya Miles offers a fresh and nuanced take a look at Tubman’s personality as popular culture likes to portray it. Edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. reveals Tubman as a girl of extraordinary faith, her unwavering commitment and repair to liberate and empower people, and her extraordinary acts of heroism. Additionally, it is an element of Meanings Serieswhich (*15*)

by Fawn Weaver (June 18, 2024)

Businesswoman Fawn Weaver just isn’t only the founding father of a hugely successful brand, but in addition a soon-to-be bestselling writer. It chronicles the legacy of the primary known black master whiskey distiller, Nearest Green, and his friendship and mentorship with Jack Daniels. chronicles Green’s life, delving even deeper into the little-known facts of his life.

by Tara M. Stringfellow (June 25, 2024)

In this mesmerizing collection of poetry, Stringfellow weaves a lovely tapestry around poignant themes reminiscent of femininity, femininity, and the bonds that bind women within the family. According to the discharge, “each poem asks how we can heal and sustain relationships with people, systems and ourselves.”

Martin Luther King Jr. (July 2, 2024)

July 2 on the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. The third book in Essential Speeches of Dr. will probably be available. Martin Luther King Jr. Published exclusively by Harper Collins, the present book will feature ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ and a foreword by Eric D. Tidwell, Esq, who works with the King Estate, and an afterword by Mandy Bowmanfounding father of official Black Wall Street.

by Noliwe Rooks (July 23, 2024)

Author: Noliwy Rooks, professor and chair of Africana Studies at Brown University, details the life and contributions of pioneering educator, civil rights activist, and philanthropist Mary McLeod Bethune. As an educator, McLeod Bethune played a key role within the fight for social and academic justice, even founding Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. In this book, Rooks “highlights Bethune’s strategic approach and tireless efforts to uplift black women and girls, portraying her as a significant figure in the pursuit of political and social freedom in America.”

by Carole Hopson (August 20, 2024)

is the inspiring story of real-life black aviator Bessie Coleman. Although Coleman was the daughter of a girl born into slavery, from an early age she dreamed of being a pilot. As fate would have it, Coleman gained the financial backing of two wealthy Black men, Robert Abbott and Jesse Binga. Abbott, publisher of the Chicago Defender, became her mentor and started highlighting and presenting Coleman’s piloting adventures. Because she was unable to acquire flight training within the U.S. as a black woman, Bessie learned French and started training in France and Europe, eventually becoming one of the vital famous pilots of her time. Details about her personal and skilled life are explored intimately. You will love reading this in the event you love and!

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Celtics Jayson Tatum recalls he wasn’t “very excited” about becoming a first-time dad after girlfriend Ella Mai’s pregnancy was revealed in viral clips




The Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 to win the 2024 NBA Finals, however the highlight was on Jayson Tatum’s rumored girlfriend, singer Ella Mai, and her baby bump.

On June 17, the Celtics forward made perhaps his best performance in the deciding game of the series, ending Game 5 with 31 points. Tatum, who was drafted third overall by Boston in 2017, celebrated his first championship win, which was seen in viral videos which have now gone viral.

Another video that took social media by storm is a clip of R&B singer Ella Mai waiting in the sector hallway for Tatum after his victory.

Viral Clips Confirm Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum and Girlfriend Ella Mai Are Expecting a Baby (Screenshot: @willmakris/Instagram)
Viral videos confirm that Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum and girlfriend Ella Mai expect a baby. (Screenshot: @willmakris / Instagram)

The recording shows the singer wearing a Boston jersey with the number “0” and waving on the NBA star. As she turned to Tatum to hug him, many social media users noticed the very noticeable baby bump and started speculating that the British music star is perhaps expecting her first child.

The video, which received over 1.7 million views in the primary few hours, was posted on X by a fan who also wrote: “So Ella Mai IS pregnant. What a W yr Tatum.

“We see victories on and off the field. Congratulations,” another person he said.

“Ella Mai is pregnant. This baby will be as bright as a light bulb,” a fan he was joking.

As the congratulations poured in, many fans still had no concept that the “Boo’d Up” singer was dating the five-time NBA All Star.

People The magazine reports that they’ve been linked since not less than 2020, after the singer apparently posted a photo on Instagram in 2019 to take shots on the NBA star. Although neither of them have ever publicly gone public with their relationship, Tatum and Mai have been spotted together several times over the summer.

In 2022, Tatum and the four-time Grammy nominee joined Michael Rubin for his yearbook Fourth of July party. In September 2023, the alleged couple was seen next to one another again at the marriage of Memphis Grizzlies player Marcus Smart. Then in November 2023, Tatum helped the R&B singer have fun her twenty ninth birthday in New York City.

When asked about her love life during a 2022 sit-down on The Breakfast Club, Ella Mai danced round her and Tatum’s romance.

“There are rumors that you are a Boston Celtics fan,” co-host DJ Envy suggested.

“Oh really? … I’m definitely a basketball fan, but you know I’m not one to talk about my dating life,” the “Boo’d Up” singer replied.

Despite remaining mum on her romantic relationship with Tatum, comedian Michael Blackson has apparently lifted the lid on their secret after revealing on “The Breakfast Club” that he tried to shoot the singer before the NBA player told him she was married taken away.

While attending Mike Rubin’s 2022 Fourth of July party in the Hamptons, Blackson said he noticed a beautiful Black woman who looked like a normal person, not an exaggeratedly thin celebrity. He approached her and struck up a conversation.

“Suddenly I was tapped on the shoulder,” he recalls. “I said, ‘Are you okay?’ and he says, “Yes, I’m good because I’m together with her.”

True to the best way she talks about their relationship, Ella Mai has not confirmed that she is pregnant. However, rumors that she is pregnant have been circulating on the Internet for months.

In April, a fan went to X to share with the world that his father saw Ella Mai and Jayson Tatum at a baby shower and that the singer was pregnant. Screenshots of the tweets were posted to @wagsunfiltered3.0 on Instagram.

“Bro, my dad saw Jayson Tatum at the infant shower, man. I believe MF has one other child,” wrote a fan. “My dad said he had a child with some famous singer. Ella Mai probably cannot think about one other person. He also said they feasted on fried chicken.

Now that the Celtics have taken home the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, videos and photos have surfaced online showing Ella Mai’s pregnancy becoming more visible.

This might be the 29-year-old’s first child and Tatum’s second. Tatum’s son, Jayson Christopher Tatum Jr., also referred to as “Deuce”, often helps his father warm up on the basketball court before Celtics games and was in attendance to observe his father win his first championship ring.

Tutum was just 19 and a Duke student when he first came upon he was going to be a father.

“I wasn’t thrilled,” Tatum said Everyday Adirondack. “I was a little selfish at that time because I knew I was going to chase my dream and be in the NBA. I felt like it could influence what people considered me, where I’d go in the draft.

He added: “I would be the first to say that I wasn’t very excited when I found out I was going to be a dad, and I quickly realized it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. There’s nothing better than being a dad. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.”

According to Tatum, having a son taught him a sense of responsibility, which proved useful to him throughout his skilled basketball profession.

“And I believe – not that I believe so, I do know – that having Deuce at that age grounded me. Because whatever decision I desired to make, I needed to ensure that I’d handle him. “I couldn’t just get up and go or do all the things that some of my peers did because I had to come home and put him to bed,” he stated.

Although Tatum was not named NBA Finals MVP, he is widely considered the highest talent on the Celtics’ roster. The Boston Celtics have now won a record 18 NBA championships, having previously tied the Los Angeles Lakers at 17.

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“The Blues Society” by Freestyle Digital Media will be available on the VOD platform




“The Blues Society,” a documentary featuring the Memphis Blues Country Festival, will be available on demand in July.

According to the press, the film, narrated by actor Eric Roberts, “reevaluates the life of the Memphis Country Blues Festival (1966–1970) through the prism of race, 1960s counterculture and the Memphis blues genre.” release. Written, directed and produced by Dr. Augusta Palmer, “The Blues Society” tells the story of blues greats Furry Lewis, Nathan Beauregard and the Reverend Robert Wilkins.

The film also examines “a gaggle of white artists from the North and South who created a celebration of African-American music in a highly racially segregated city. Reaching into the present, the film ends with a 2017 concert by which John Wilkins returns to the stage he last shared together with his father, the Reverend Robert Wilkins, 48 ​​years earlier,” the release reads.

“The Blues Society” will be available to rent/own on all HD digital online platforms, cable and satellite platforms worldwide, and on DVD from July 9. The film will be available through Freestyle Digital Media, the film distribution arm of Allen Media Group, whose founder, chairman and CEO Byron Allen owns Grio.

“I didn’t just want to make a concert film. Everyone can appreciate the unforgettable music in ‘The Blues Society,’ but the love of the blues did not cure white supremacy,” said director Palmer. “I wanted to recreate the idealism of white organizers, but also highlight Black voices and expose the paternalism in the blues revival of the 1960s. Since the pandemic, structural racism has become much more visible to the nation. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.”

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J. Tinneny co-produced the film with Palmer. The musical documentary screened at film festivals and theaters across the country, including DCTV’s Firehouse, Three Rivers Arts Festival and Light Reel Film Fest, throughout May and June. Then on July 1, “The Blues Society” will be shown at the Hollywood Theater in Portland. Freestyle Digital Media negotiated an agreement to amass “The Blues Society” with Cultural Animal, LLC and Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films.

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How ‘Bridgerton’ star Daniel Francis balances a career in front of the camera and in senior technical management




LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 12: Daniel Francis attends a special screening of ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 – Part Two at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on June 12, 2024 in London, England. (Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images)

Beloved World, with its lavish costumes and old-world English-language dialogue, can pose a challenge for the average actor. But for classically trained actor Daniel Francis, who trained at British drama school LAMDA and sharpened his skills while working for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the setting could be very familiar.

“It’s a great pleasure to be able to enter this world,” Francis tells ESSENCE. “You have the best of the best designing these items with such thought and care and attention to detail that it just adds one other layer to the work that you just do as an actor and the characters that you just create. It is wonderful.”

Francis joined the Shondaland phenomenon in season three as Lord Marcus Anderson, Lady Danbury’s brother and Lady Violet Bridgerton’s potential love interest.

How 'Bridgerton' star Daniel Francis balances a career in front of the camera and in senior technical management
Bridgerton. Daniel Francis as Lord Anderson in Bridgerton episode 306. Cr. © 2024. Liam Daniel/Netflix

“It’s a privilege, right?” Francis talks about joining the rom-com series in a role created specifically for the show, slightly than lifted from the source material. “I love doing Shakespeare for myself. I love it. But the greatest joy is creating something for the audience.”

“When you come to perform on this scale and with such a dedicated and loving fan base, it’s a privilege that not many actors can afford. And having a character that won’t in the books permits you to create something with the writers and the showrunner, which leaves a lot of possibilities. I can not wait for fans to see the second half of the season and then see where it goes and what happens to it because I don’t know. It’s exciting.

But the actor’s excitement comes not only from his roles on screen. When he isn’t on camera, Francis is revealed to be a technology executive, forging latest paths in fields blockchain and quantum computing.

How 'Bridgerton' star Daniel Francis balances a career in front of the camera and in senior technical management
Daniel Francis at the World Premiere of ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 held at Alice Tully Hall on May 13, 2024 in New York City. (Photo: Kristina Bumphrey/Variety via Getty Images)

While it’s rare for an actor of Francis’ level of success to pursue a second career in a completely different industry than entertainment, for the actor his involvement in the business sector has at all times been second nature, born out of necessity.

“I have always been involved in business. I had a marketing company when I was at drama school,” he says. “It was my first contact with the business and I simply fell in love with it. When you grow up in poverty and want to take care of your mother and family – for me, the only solution was to start a business. I didn’t have the education that would allow me to become a lawyer and be successful on that path.”

While Francis’ talent and education led him to roles on popular series corresponding to , and , his solo entrepreneurship took him to the next frontiers of technology.

“Quantum computing is the next paradigm shift in data processing and the space we need to enter to move the world and technology forward. This is extremely exciting for me.”

How 'Bridgerton' star Daniel Francis balances a career in front of the camera and in senior technical management
Bridgerton. (From left to right) Daniel Francis as Lord Anderson, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury in episode 306 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 202

While acting and technology may look like completely different fields, Francis believes they’re “parallel goals that complement each other” in his life and career.

“I love the combination of storytelling in the entertainment space, but also in technology,” he says.

“I think it’s imperative for us as storytellers to shine a light on people who are doing amazing things that don’t work in flashier industries. I think sometimes celebrities, actors, artists and athletes are the ones who get pushed and promoted the most in the black community, when in reality there are many extremely successful, highly talented and highly skilled black people in all kinds of professions at the highest levels. It’s about telling stories that show their ups, but also their trials, tribulations and drama. We are everywhere. We always have been.”

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