NEW ORLEANS — A legal dispute that caused the cancellation of a local bookstore’s event spotlighting Black authors during the Essence Music Festival of Culture held in New Orleans has been resolved.
Lawyers for the Essence Festival issued a cease-and-desist letter June 29 to Baldwin & Co., a Black-owned coffee and bookstore business, and the mini-event organizers, Lit Diaries LLC, saying they used its trademark to mislead customers during the festival held over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Essence organizers, in a statement, said they dismissed the suit against Baldwin & Co. because of the bookstore’s “apology and swift action in this matter.” It added, however, that Essence “… is dedicated to protecting festival attendees, the public and our consumers and will take all necessary action to ensure the integrity of the Essence Festival of Culture.”
On Tuesday, Essence and Lit Diaries issued a joint statement about the situation but did not provide specific details.
“We recognize that mistakes were made on both sides and are actively collaborating with the parties involved to rectify the situation at hand,” the statement read. “We have worked diligently to untangle the multiple issues that have played out the past few days. After engaging in a deeper conversation with Essence, Lit Diaries has gained a clearer understanding of the factors that led them to pursue a Temporary Restraining Order. Through this dialogue, we have come to appreciate the complexities and considerations involved in our decision-making processes.
Reposted from USA TODAY