The Last Native’s Essence Recap: Part 1

Okay so, it’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…and all that jazz.

In the time that I have been on blog hiatus (read: “lazy as hell and finding everything to do BUT write”) there’s been lots of happenings and goings on that I could have written about that I let slip through the cracks, that stops now because, why? Because, last week’s Essence Music Festival, that’s why. The annual Essence Fest/Girl Power Revival/Sundress and Wide Hips Smorgasbord/Day Party Disneyland took over New Orleans last week and Tribillions (I made that number up) of women with Tiffany Haddish wishes and Queen Latifah dreams line danced their way into the city for the goings on.

Now I’mma stop here because if there’s 4 people that take the time to read this blog at least one of them will think, “Why were you there? Essence ain’t for you! Women need their space and hideaway from men for a weekend.” First of all, shut up. Secondly, we like to party too! And finally, most women Essence attendees spent the last 8 months talking mad ratchetness on group chats averaging about 4 eggplant emojis per message. What you thought? Ralph Angel from Queen Sugar was gonna show up and f*ck all y’all one at a time? Ralph Angel – what’s that dude’s real name? Never mind, it ain’t important – Ralph Angel ain’t checkin’ for you, Sis. And somewhere around the middle of day 2 when you come to that realization, B-minus dudes like me are chillin in the cut snacking on crab cakes and beignets watching you two step your way into reality. Ever seen those wildlife videos where the salmon are struggling to hop upstream and there’s a bear just sitting in the river watching clouds float lazily by and he’ll occasionally and nonchalantly catch a salmon in his mouth? Same isht, except the bears at Essence sit in Bourbon House and Cafe du Monde. Any…way.

Because I spent a lot of time chilling and people watching I was able to take some notes on things that I saw, heard, and experienced. And so, I give you, The Last Native’s Essence Recap:

Chapter One: The Wobbly First Steps of a Baby Cow

I’m in a number of EMF groups on social media and one of the first pieces of advice women give other women is to rock flat shoes. New Orleans is a very walkable city so it’s just common decency and kindness to your feet and ten piggies that you make them as comfortable as possible while walking the blocks to and from your destinations. But every year it’s a scene out of a World War 2 flick; wounded warriors with their arms draped over the shoulders of their friends struggling to make their way, not because of drunkenness (sometimes), but because their ankles have given up the ghost, “gone on home to Glory” as my Granny would have said, because Bonita Bad Ass over here say she been wearing 5 inch heels since she was 15 and it ain’t nothing for her to wear some heels at Essence; and now both her soles and her soul cease to exist.

Do you know how raggedy New Orleans streets are?

Do you have any idea the warfare those busted ass French Quarter cobblestones are waging? The utter hatred those cracked sidewalks and potholes have for healthy, undamaged feet?

They don’t want to see you win, Sis; those streets are there to destroy you. And they do. That beautiful Black woman walk and hip sway is reduced at the end of the night to the pained, wobbly, repeatedly failing steps of a seconds old calf that has freshly plopped out of its cow-ass mama. The only thing missing from the scene is Sarah McLachlan’s melodramatic voice singing “In the arms of an angel …” as the sista whines about the hotel being so far away and knowing that she can’t take her shoes off and walk barefoot because if you walk anywhere on those NOLA streets barefoot you gonna have to fly to China for experimental foot transplant surgery because you’re gonna have to throw the ones you got away. Have you seen that place at night? F*ck the entirety of that walking barefoot isht.

Just do yourself a favor, listen to the other sisters and wear the flats. I was in sneakers the entire weekend and wanted to cut my feet off so you can’t stand a chance in your stilettos. Your outfit will still be nice and your walk will still be intact at the end of the night which we men will appreciate. For you hard headed ones though, at Essence ‘19, I’mma be at the corner of Royal and Canal with a shopping cart full of flip flops. $25 a pair…and you gonna buy em regardless of the size because you hard headed and didn’t listen. Hashtag: hustle.


Next Chapter: The Inner Ho Struggle


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