Juneteenth Soul Food Festival And Market Canceled

Arkansas Juneteenth Soul Food Festival And Market Canceled After Receiving Backlash About Lack Of African American Representation

It needs to be done right when it comes to any Juneteenth event! Unfortunately for one group of organizers in Little Rock, AR, they faced backlash on social media once a leaked flyer for the Juneteenth Soul Food Festival and Market circulated online on Tuesday. According to the Arkansas Times, due to the lack of African American representation, people didn’t approve of the upcoming event, which led the festival to be canceled.

One of the event organizers, Muskie Harris, a Black former Razorback football player, said he’s canceling the festival because of the instantaneous uproar.

“I got a rope around my neck, and I’m tarred and feathered over an event that’s already dead,” he explained.

Muskie says that the flyer, which showed three white people, Rex Nelson, Heather Baker, and David Bazzel, wasn’t the final image.

“This leaked image was just a proof, not a final version. Unity was supposed to be the theme of the event,” he said. “It just got perceived in the wrong way, and my sponsors said to leave it alone. It’s dead. It’s dried up.”

Muskie was correct about people pulling out from the event. Reports also state The Arkansas Juneteenth Unity Foundation distanced itself on Tuesday, clarifying that they weren’t the hosts. One of the benefiting organizations, The Urban League, also released a statement via Facebook distancing their involvement.

CEO Scott D. Hamilton wrote, “The Urban League of the State of Arkansas is and was not involved in any aspect of this program. We are concerned of the appearance of participation without our approval.  Unfortunately, some failed to recognize the optics and the absolute need to engage prior to this being developed.”

Roommates, do you think this was the right move to cancel the festival?

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