Eric Benet, Elle Varner headline Black Heritage Fest this weekend

This weekend, the Foundation for Black Heritage & Culture will open its doors to the greater Houston community to “Rediscover Our Own Backyard” at the 6th Annual Houston Black Heritage Festival (presented by Houston Southeast Management District).

The two-day celebration will take place at Emancipation Park on October 8th and 9th from 4p.m. to 10p.m. Grammy-nominated R&B singers Eric Benet and Elle Varner will headline the festival’s main stage. Legendary radio presenter Funky Larry Jones with Houston’s own Majic 102.1 FM will serve as the official host of this weekend’s festival.

The founder of the Houston Black Heritage Festival, Richard “Shomari” Andrews, has been celebrated and honored for creating this event for a grateful Bayou City. However, when talking to Andrews, he says he’s the one who is grateful.

“I’m just so thankful and blessed that God chose me and entrusted me with bringing such an awesome Black celebration in Houston,” said Andrews. “I would like to thank the Southeast Management District and so many more for backing us in a major way, especially Defender CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles for helping me the very first year.”

Andrews is a Woodrow Smith Community Service Award winner for his coordination of the weekly Food Giveaway program born just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit that takes place in partnership with the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural and Events Center. Andrews’ food giveaway effort provides free food to 400 families a week, and takes place every Saturday from 11a.m. – 2p.m. at 5313 MLK Blvd., Houston, TX 77021.

Andrews views the Black Heritage Festival as a community service, as well.

“After enduring a long break from the pandemic, the festival returns with a multi-day series to promote African-American culture through live music and dance performances, a youth zone for children and teenagers, a fashion show, a visual & cultural arts showcase, and a variety of local vendors and delicious cuisines from local favorites,” said Andrews.

In addition to the confirmed headliners, the festival will feature performances and special appearances from Ruben Moreno & the Zydeco Re-Volution, Keyun & the Zydeco Masters, DJ Nicky Nice, Genesis Blu, Bod Gyal Magic,  DJ Evolution,  DJ II D.E.E.P., Ken Clear, Xandi, Tim Thorn, Sapphire Phoenix & Slug, and Neva B.

With an average attendance of over 5,000 patrons annually, the Houston Black Heritage Festival attracts a diversified audience from all around for the celebrity headline performances, prize giveaways, and the festival marketplace with over 55 exhibitors from across the U.S. Proceeds from this year’s festival will benefit foundation’s many year-round programs, including a weekly community food distribution program (in partnership with the Houston Food Bank), scholarships for first-generation college students, and more. 

Official sponsors for the 6th Annual Houston Festival are Southeast Management District, Houston Arts Alliance, City of Houston, HEB, University of Houston’s Tilman J Fertitta Family College of Medicine, Houston Area Urban League, Houston Forward Times, The Principle Partnering Gorup, LLC, Feed The Children, Office Depot, Staples and Kroger. Tickets for this weekend’s festival are still available.

To purchase tickets or to learn more about the festival, please visit the official website at

About The Foundation for Black Heritage & Culture

The Foundation for the Black Heritage & Culture (“FBHC”) is a community-supported 501(C)3 non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas with the mission to share, preserve and advance the vibrant legacy of African American culture through the foundation’s three pillars (Education, Health Equity & Cultural Arts), and to establish community-focused initiatives benefiting underserved inner-city youth populations and economically disadvantaged families. 

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...