A Juneteenth soul food festival in Arkansas canceled following reveal of entirely white panel of judges
- A soul food festival celebrating Juneteenth was canceled after a panel of white judges was revealed.
- A leaked proof of the flyer for the event gained attention online, The Arkansas Times reported.
A Juneteenth soul food festival was canceled after a flyer for the event revealed an all-white panel of judges.
The festival was scheduled for June 17 in Little Rock Arkansas on June 17 but has since been shuttered after the flyer was leaked and widely panned on social media, according to Salon.
—Black Aziz aNANsi (@Freeyourmindkid) April 26, 2022
The three white "featured hosts" would have included Rex Nelson, a newspaper editor; Heather Baker, the president and publisher of a multimedia company; and David Bazzel, a local radio and TV personality. Nelson, Baker, and Bazzel did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The flyer shared on social media was a leaked proof, according to The Arkansas Times.
The Urban League of the State of Arkansas, a local nonprofit, said it "is and was not involved in any aspect of this program."
"We are concerned of the appearance of participation without our approval. It's unfortunate that some failed to recognize the optics and the absolute need to engage prior to this being developed," the league's CEO, Scott D. Hamilton, said in a Facebook post.
Muskie Harris, a Black Republican and former candidate for lieutenant governor that was organizing the event, told The Arkansas Times that the festival was "dead."
"I got a rope around my neck, and I'm tarred and feathered over an event that's already dead," Harris, a former football player, said. "It just got perceived in the wrong way, and my sponsors said to leave it alone. It's dead. It's dried up."
Harris did not respond to Insider's request for comment.
Juneteenth, a celebration of the freedom of African Americans, was recognized as a US federal holiday in 2021.
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