Special Event Spotlights New Black ‘Essence Magazine’ Owner, Editor


— About 300 well-dressed locals showed-up on the 7th Floor Conference Hall of the Newseum in Washington to acknowledge the recent purchase of Essence Magazine by entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis.

The upscale societal meet-greet included several of metro DC’s influential types and others who are high-rollers in their particular industries. In addition to Dennis’ current exploits, TV personality and comedienne Loni Love provided tasty wit and humor to the scene, in a moderator’s role. Love appears on network TV as a daily co-host on nationally-syndicated ‘The Real’ talk show.

The outdoor balcony with lofty views of the U.S. Capitol building and other government monuments felt expectedly wonderful considering the unseasonably 78-degree temps that splashed welcomed sunrays.

An appearance by DC Fox TV 5 news woman Allison Seymour, was special. Seymour provided a calm collected aura and professional glitz to the entire ambiance, as Dennis and magazine editor Michelle Ebanks entertained questions from the audience.

Event creator Sheila Eldridge of New Jersey-based Miles Ahead Entertainment, said the event was a fulfillment to ensure Mr. Dennis realizes the full support he still receives from many of the black women business owners who were present. Other who’s-who A-listers who showed up for the invitational-only event was former TV-ONE talk-show host Roland Martin, along with former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and current State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Marylin J. Mosby. Moseby’s star rose exactly three years ago when she filed charges against six Baltimore police officers related to the notorious Freddie Gray case. On a lighter note, also in the house was Wanda Pratt Durant, mother of NBA World Champion (Golden State Warriors) and DC-native Kevin Durant.

In addition to celebrating Mr. Dennis’ new business ventures, the event, also helped pay homage to Women’s History Month, Café Mocha radio show success, and collaborations with Ubiquitous Beauty Hair Health Expo to present “My Journey: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

Loni Love, a Detroit native, co-hosts the nationally broadcasted, online streaming and SIRIUS Radio-broadcasted Café Mocha radio show.

Both Mr. Dennis and his editor, Michelle Ebanks, eagerly discussed future ventures with Essence, and assured attendees that they would realize and appreciate the publication returning to a black ownership status. Dennis noted that the annual Essence Music Festival will continue its yearly trek to New Orleans on the July 4th weekend. He also said the Essence Festival has now made a presence in Africa, an announcement which erupted in appreciative applause. Dennis is a Liberian native who founded the Shea Moisture Corp. in 1991. The Harlem-based operation quickly generated successful sales numbers helping Shea Moisture become a major player in the personal care business.