In a moment that feels like it was pulled from an episode of “Atlanta,” a Juneteenth soul food festival in Arkansas was canceled as quickly as it was unveiled after word spread that all of the “featured hosts” for the event were white.
On Tuesday, a Twitter user shared an image of a poster for the event, with the caption: “Somebody has to explain this to me.”
The June 17 event, which had been scheduled to take place at the Little Rock War Memorial Stadium, promised “3 floors of food from some of Arkansas’ top restaurants and caterers.” It also advertised three featured hosts: Rex Nelson, the senior editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Heather Baker, the president and publisher of AY Media Group; and David Bazzel, an Arkansas radio and TV personality. All three individuals are white.
Juneteenth, which was finally recognized as a federal holiday in 2021 under President Joe Biden, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. Its name stems from June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas, issued General Order No. 3, which announced that in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, “all slaves are free.”
Several months later, the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in the final four border states that had not been subjected to former President Abraham Lincoln’s order.
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SOURCE: Raw Story; Salon, Ashlie D. Stevens