Staff Report

Over 200 residents joined Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan to celebrate the theme “Black Excellence” at her fourth annual Black Heritage Festival. Jordan kicked off the show sporting colorful African-themed attire and dancing alongside a Caribbean-style Junkanoo band composed of drums, horns, whistles and brass instruments.

Hosted by Commissioner Jordan and City of Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Erhabor Ighodaro, the Feb. 4 event was held at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex Amphitheater. Jordan said her festival, which is celebrated each year during Black History Month, honors the rich and diverse heritage of Black people.

“It’s important to highlight our history, culture, and the contributions we have made to this country.” Commissioner Jordan said. “Our youth, and community as a whole, need to know that our forefathers have sacrificed and paved the way.”

The festival showcased the wide-ranging talents of local residents, which included music, dance, fashion design, poetry and more. A few of the acts that graced the stage included Jesus People Ministries International Gospel Choir, Rebecca “Butterfly” Vaughns, Ronnie “VOP,” Teenear, Simone’s Just Dance Studios, the Viking Freedom Writers and more.

The festival also serves as an opportunity to give local entrepreneurs more exposure. Business owners promoted an array of cultural wares along with several food trucks and other food vendors.

Children climbed a rock-wall, got their faces painted and jumped around in bounce houses. There were mobile units on hand from CareerSource South Florida and Kinad African American Mobile Museum.

The 4th Annual Black Heritage Festival was sponsored by EAC Consulting, Inc., Orion Jet Center, Marlins Foundation, Florida Blue, Carrie Concessions, IBEW 349, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Holsen Inc. Enterprises, and Banana Wave Milk.