Black Heritage Festival honors historically black schools


Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan hosted the sixth annual Black Heritage Festival on Saturday at Miami Coral City Park where she invited Florida Memorial University students and others to represent their historically black college or university.

A Junkanoo group walked onto the stage to start off the festival. A step team from Miami Norland Middle School performed as their spectators cheered. Members of a gospel group sang and wore t-shirts in recognition of black history month and influential black activists. FMU students sang a historic hymn, called “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” composed in 1900 by John Rosamond Weldon, a composer from Jacksonville.

Jordan welcomed festival-goers along with Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert.

“We want to really make sure that you understand that it is important to us for you to share in our heritage,” said Jordan. “And make sure you understand the linkage that we have to this country and our homeland as well.”

Attendees shared their perspectives on black culture and the traditions they share with their families.

Adebayo T. Coker is an engineer from HBC Engineering Company, one of the event’s sponsors.

“I would say, probably, having breakfast on Sundays, right, was a tradition that was very important to my family,” said Coker. “We all ate together at the table before going to church on Sunday.”