South Carolina Slammed For Using White People To Promote 'Inclusive' Juneteenth Festival

South Carolina Slammed For Using White People To Promote ‘Inclusive’ Juneteenth Festival

Juneteenth festival, South Carolina, inclusive, promotion
Philadelphia, PA, USA - June 18, 2016; Community participates in the Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day in the historic Germantown section of Northwest Philadelphia, PA, USA on June 18, 2016. The annual event commemorates the announcement of abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865.

Black residents of Greenville, South Carolina were shocked at the town’s choice of Juneteenth celebration promotion and advertisement.

Organizers for the event are now apologizing after hanging lightpost banners featuring white people, DailyMail reports. The event is being promoted as “a celebration of freedom, unity and love” and quickly caught the attention of Black twitter

The plot thickens as the organizer of the event, Juneteenth GVL co-founder Rueben Hays, is black. Hays says the design was one of many in a bid to be inclusive.

“Juneteenth GVL would like to offer an apology to the community for the presence of non-black faces being represented on two flags representing Juneteenth,” Hays said in a statement.

“Moving forward, we are committed to ensuring that our events fully the diversity, inclusivity, and historical significance of Juneteenth.”

Juneteenth GVL had 50 banners set up around downtown Greenville for the event next month.

Several activists and community members sent emails expressing their concerns and even posted some questions about the banners on social media. One user said, “This isn’t a all lives matter holiday” in response to a tweet defending the banners.

Hays says he approved the banners himself along with his co-founders and the decision was made months ago.

“The city of Greenville was extremely helpful in supporting with the direction and the positioning of our choosing,” Hays told WYFF News 4. “They had no input on any artwork or anything creatively that we’ve done for Juneteenth.”

The event is scheduled for June 10-17. A flyer posted on Facebook paints a very different depiction of what the event entails.

The banners have since been removed, according to Post and Courier. Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865, the day when the last slaves were finally freed, finalizing the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. President Biden proclaimed the celebration as a federal holiday back in 2021.

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