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Fred Jones Quote

Fred Jones is grateful that the Southern Heritage Classic has been around for 34 years.

50,000 fans are expected in Memphis for the HBCU football game between the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Tennessee State University on September 9th.

The fans are what makes the Southern Heritage Classic so great. They come to celebrate with us each year. For many, it’s turned into a fun-filled family reunion.”

— SHC Founder, Fred Jones

MEMPHIS, CA, UNITED STATES, July 25, 2023/ — The 34th Southern Heritage Classic is September 7th – 9th in Memphis, TN. This exciting three-day cultural celebration includes a smorgasbord of events that culminates on Saturday with an expansive tailgate and HBCU football match-up that features newcomer the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions versus Tennessee State University Tigers in one of the most exciting HBCU games in the Mid-South. At half-time, UAPB’s Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South (M4) and TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands will strut their stuff. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium. This year’s theme is “Let the Good Times Roll,” and that’s exactly what the Classic plans to do!

During the Classic, music lovers can attend concerts with legendary award-winning soul and R&B singers! Thursday night (9/7) ushers in the “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, and Friday night (9/8) dancing shoes are recommended to fully enjoy the high-energy performances of Charlie Wilson and Morris Day and The Time. Master entertainer Jammin Jay Lamont will also perform during both concerts. Additional events include the Classic College and Career Fair, Classic Coaches Luncheon, Classic Tailgate, Penny Hardaway Memphis District Golf Classic, Classic Parade in Orange Mound, Classic Battle of the Bands, Classic Fashions and Brunch hosted by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and more! Southern Heritage Classic event tickets can be purchased at

The Classic has proven itself to be one of the most successful events in the Bluff City. Each year, an average of 50,000 fans flock to Memphis for a good time and outstanding HBCU football. According to an impact study by The University of Memphis, the Classic brings in $21 million to the local economy annually.
According to Founder, Fred Jones, the secret to the Classic’s success is simple. “The fans are what makes the Southern Heritage Classic so great. They come to celebrate with us each year. For many, it’s turned into a fun-filled family reunion,” said Jones. “I’ve enjoyed working with UAPB as they acclimate to their new role with us. I’m also grateful to continue to have Tennessee State with us. I know they will come with the same passion and competitiveness they have every year,” added Jones.

For information about Southern Heritage Classic events and hotels, visit

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