Essence Harden (Oakland, CA) works at the intersections of blackness, art, and cultural history.

Essence is a Ph.D. candidate, independent curator, writer, and artist. Her visual work has appeared at Good Children Gallery, Black Portraitures III, SOMarts, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). Her writing has appeared in Performa Magazine, SFAQ: International Arts and Culture, Everyday Feminism, Palmss Magazine, and Acres. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. 

Essence graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History from UC Berkeley in 2011. She received her Master of Arts from the department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley in 2013 and is currently a Ph.D Candidate in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation explores post Black Power constructions of black masculinity, queerness, and fashion.