Arkansas Juneteenth Soul Food Festival canceled after All-White host panel revealed | New

Plans for a Juneteenth soul food festival in Little Rock, Arkansas fell apart on Tuesday (April 26) after backlash erupted on social media when publicity proof of the event was leaked, reports the Arkansas Times.

Scheduled for June 17, the event commemorating the emancipation of slaves featured “3 floors of food from some of the best restaurants and caterers in Arkansas.” The poster also showed photos of three white people who would host the rally.

This sparked an immediate outcry on Twitter, causing the event organizer Muskie Harriswho is black, to cancel the soul food festival.

“I have a noose around my neck and I’m tarred and feathered from an event that’s already dead,” said Harris, a former University of Arkansas football player and Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. . Time.

He said the leaked poster was not the final version, which was meant to focus on a unity theme. “It was just perceived in a bad way, and my sponsors said leave it alone. It’s dead. It’s dried up,” he added.

Arkansas Urban League CEO Scott D. Hamilton posted a message on Facebook on Tuesday (April 26) denying rumors that the organization was involved in the event.

“The Arkansas State Urban League is and has not been involved in any aspect of this program,” the statement said. We are concerned about the appearance of participation without our approval. It is unfortunate that some did not recognize the optics and the absolute need to engage before this was developed.

President Biden signed legislation in 2021 that made Juneteenth a federal holiday, becoming the first created since Martin Luther King Jr.The birthday of . in 1983.

RELATED: Biden signs bill making June 19 a national holiday, 156 years after it began

The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas were told they had been freed two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation.

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