Over eight thousand people attended the 3rd annual Houston Black Heritage Festival presented by Ebony Magazine. Grammy award-winning artist Tamia set the stage on fire alongside Elle Varner, and every girl’s dream performer the ever so “smooth” Eric Benet. This year’s festival served as an uplifting evening for the city of Houston after the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Eric Benet gracefully gave words of encouragement as he embraced the crowd with resilience and compassion. This year’s host and emcee was nonother than The Session Talk Show Host, Kia Renee!
Founder Richard Andrews commended, “I would like to thank some very influential people who stepped into partner with us. First, Willard Jackson and Linda Rice of Ebony are two amazing people who saw a need to help heal the community in the wake of Harvey. I am really grateful and honored for the partnership. Also, Thanks to Mr. Darryl King for stepping in and mentoring me and single-handedly helping to get this event off the ground. Compassion International played a huge role as one of our major sponsors and presented our Gospel Celebration. I wanted to utilize our platform this year to celebrate the remarkable spirit of our strong and resilient African American community.”
The night enriched as State representative Shawn Thierry presented Willard Jackson-Vice Chairman of Ebony Magazine, Darryl King-Principle Partnering Group, Eric Bent Elle Varner and Tamia with honors from the State of Texas. Mayor Sylvester Turner was also a 2017 honoree, alongside NAACP Image Award nominee and Larry Green –City of Houston District K- Larry Green, marketing guru- Velma Trayham and Fox 26 News Reporter, Isiah Carey who both addressed the crowd to encourage Houstonians to remain strong, and to embrace their “Go moment”. Other honorees included Darian Ward- City of Houston Press Secretary, Larry Johnson- Development Director KTSU, Owner- Mr. Percy Creuzot Ill. Also, Mr. Boris Miles stopped by to show support.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee commended Houston Black Heritage Festival founder Richard Andrews while addressing the crowd stating, “Many believed the festival should have been canceled due to Hurricane Harvey, but Richard thank you for giving back and providing Houston with such an uplifting event!” Congresswoman Lee added “I love the vision Richard (Founder of the Houston Black Heritage Festival) has, this festival will soon be the largest jazz and cultural family event birth from Houston that will capture the nation. The Houston Black Heritage Festival growth and impact on the Houston Community are simply outstanding.” Before leaving the stage, Congresswoman Lee took a knee inciting the crowd of thousands as she expressed her solidarity to the many African American NFL supporters and the spirit of the black culture.
The ambiance of the evening was set in the prelude to the youth zone and vendors market. Hundreds of vendors and food trucks provided attendees with a day of shopping, eating, and performances in the free youth zone. Harris County also provided free health screenings along with free games and activities from the youth.
The Houston Black Heritage Festival has become one of the most sought-after annual events in the state of Texas for music lovers, business owners, entertainment stars, community leaders, members of media and for children of all ages. Over the past three years, the event has garnered millions of social media impressions. This year was no different, as the event trended across all social media platforms. It was a stellar show and next year will be even bigger and better.
Ebony Magazine, had the honor of being this year’s presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include City Of Houston, Houston Arts Alliance, Harris County, Compassion International, Bud Light- Silver Eagle, Houston Style Magazine, Frenchy’s, Council Member Green, The Principle Partnering Group L.L.C, KTSU 90.9FM, KYND, African American News, Houston Forward Times, Buffalo Soldiers Museum, CBA Media Group, Yelp, VIP Media, Four Seasons Hotel, Harris County Precinct 1 and the Day Edwards Agency.
For more information, including red carpet photos, video clips, a complete list of vendors and honorees and 2018 sponsorship opportunities, visit www.HoustonBlackHeritageFest.