Essence Harden is a Ph.D. Candidate, independent curator, writer, and artist. Essence has curated exhibitions at Charlie James Gallery, California African American Museum (CAAM), Antenna Gallery (New Orleans), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), The Advocate and Gochis Galleries, and Residency Art Gallery (Inglewood). Their arts writing has appeared in LALA, Performa Magazine, and SFAQ: International Arts and Culture. Essence is a recipient of The 2018 Creative Capital, Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program Grant.

Essence graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and received their Master of Arts from the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. Essence is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley.

Essence resides in Los Angeles, CA.