MIAMI GARDENS – Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan kicked off the festivities by joining the energized crowd in doing the Wakanda salute from the movie “Black Panther” at her sixth annual Black Heritage Festival. Approximately 500 residents flocked to Miami Carol City Park to celebrate Black History Month and the contributions of African Americans at the annual festival.

The event was hosted by Commissioner Jordan and City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Miami Carol City Park. Jordan said her festival honors the rich and diverse heritage of Black people.

“This year’s theme was ‘Historically Made: HBCU Edition,’ and it was wonderful seeing residents dressed to represent their colleges and seeing the Greek organizations also participate in the festivities,” Commissioner Jordan said.

Greek organizations including the Omega Psi Phi and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities and Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities took the stage to perform step-dancing, also known as “stepping” in unison. The festival also showcased the wide-ranging talents of local residents, which included R&B and gospel musical performances, art, fashion design, poetry and more. A few of the acts that graced the stage included Miami Norland Middle School’s Dynasty Step Team, the Junkanoos, Zipporah Live, and the Viking Freedom Writers.

Over 800 elementary, middle, and high school students were acknowledged for making honor roll distinctions at 14 schools in District 1. Business owners were on site promoting an array of cultural wares along with several food trucks and other food vendors.

Children enjoyed rock-wall climbing, face-painting, and bounce houses. Career Source of South Florida mobile unit was also on hand.