It may be hard to believe that Oprah Winfrey has never actually graced the Essence Festival with her presence, but this year she made her debut at the 2016 Essence Festival.
Winfrey made her Essence entrance to a packed house at the festival’s Empowerment Experience stage, the audience filled with notables like Ava DuVernay, Lynn Whitfield, Gayle King, Roland Martin and the cast of the upcoming OWN TV show “Queen Sugar.”
“Oprah’s message of inspiration is universal and, through her life’s work, she has influenced women and girls across the globe,” said ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca. “We are delighted that Iyanla Vanzant graciously invited Oprah to the ESSENCE Festival as a special gift for the fans, so we are welcoming our passionate community to join us for an absolutely extraordinary experience not to be missed.”
Oprah closed out the main stage at the Essence Empowerment Experience. Winfrey walked out in a fitted red dress and a slick pony tail ready to slay. She started her speech with a beautiful poem from Maya Angelou. Oprah spoke from her heart and took us on a journey on how she became successful.
Here are some of her most inspiring quotes at Essence Festival:
- “The key, the secret, the magic is to surrender to God’s dream for you.”
- “For everything there is an equal and opposite reaction… You are responsible for the energy that you are putting out into the world because that very energy is coming right back to you every single time, whether you believe it or not, because it is law. “
- “When you’ve done everything you can do, you don’t just have to stand. When you’ve prayed and … wanted and dreamed and held on and believed and got turned down and turned back and turned around, it taught me when you’ve done everything you can do, Surrender all. Surrender all.”
- “You have no power over any territory other than your own, but you are the master of that. You get to be the captain of your own soul and if you just manage that, if you just took care of your territory, all the glorious, glorious, glorious wondrous opportunities and possibilities are waiting for you. The question is, what are you resisting?”
- “Your life is big. Your life is huge, and we spend so much time wanting to be in somebody else’s life, and you don’t get honored, you don’t get revered, you don’t get celebrated wanting what somebody else has.”
She ended her speech by telling us, “Don’t do anything you don’t truly intend and if you want to be an empowered woman, empower other women.”
The annual ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, presented by Coca-Cola, is one of the nation’s largest live events. This is the 22nd year of the Essence Festival and it continues to draw some of the biggest names within the entertainment industry. Even though it might be too late to get tickets for this year, that just means you have more than enough time to save up for next year!