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By: Erica Ponder

HOUSTON — The 2nd Annual Houston Black Heritage Festival was one to remember as fans celebrated all over Discovery Green Park with music, food, fun and lots of fellowship!

Before headlining R&B singer Monica made her way to the stage, the crowd was able to enjoy many memorable performances, and receive health and wellness information from the various booths set up at the festival.

The show started off with the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and continued with original renditions of the “So Gone Challenge,” and inspirational speakers energized the crowd. The speakers included relationship experts Pastor and First Lady J from Higher Dimension Church in Katy, and other guests who talked about the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

Although the weather began to take a turn for the worse, that didn’t stop the crowd from celebrating! After a short break, the show resumed with a ballet performance, followed by a fashion show showcasing a men’s swimwear line that made the women in the audience sweat — and not just from the heat of the day!  The pieces were made by GSquared clothing line by Houston’s own, Grover Dubose. The Black and Natural Queens pageant participants also made a special appearance.

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Audience members were able to enjoy unique performances that ranged from Gospel, to Neo Soul, to Hip-Hop. The group Hueston had the crowd rocking, and Jazz Anderson performed her hit single “All I Want,” a song she introduced on Basketball Wives LA., starring her mother, Tami Roman.

Verses and Flow’s spoken word artist Deonte Scott of Chicago, IL performed a piece from his EP “Damage Control,” and Mathew Knowles’ group Blushhh Music gave us that old school flavor with their performance of amazing songs, including “Old School Back.” Houston’s own Coline Creuzot brought out special guest Paul Wall during her performance, causing the crowd to go crazy! All of the performances were a great dose of dopeness.

Then it was time for Ms. Monica Brown to take center stage, showing exactly why she is a Grammy-Award winning artist, turning it out while belting out hits “So Gone,” “Why I Love You So Much,” and “Just One of Them Days.” The crowd sang along with the College Park diva. Amazed by the outpour of H-Town love, she thanked the audience for embracing her music over the last 20 years.

Needless to say, this year’s festival was a success, no matter how much rain poured from the skies!

Check out footage from the festival. We can’t wait for its return next year.