Open in App
Daily Mail

South Carolina Juneteenth event banner depicting a white couple gets slammed

By Claudia Aoraha, Senior Reporter For Dailymail.Com,


A banner advertising a Juneteenth celebration in South Carolina has been slammed for depicting a white couple.

The holiday, marking the emancipation of black slaves, was being advertised on the  streets of Greenville with over 50 banners - but one in particular has caused outrage within the community.

Locals are now calling for a boycott after they used a white couple to promote their Juneteenth 'mega fest.'

Greenville activist Bruce Wilson from Fighting Injustice Together said of the adverts hanging from lampposts: 'I was appalled. I was saddened, I was angry.

'We have to remember what Juneteenth is about. It's about freedom. It's about the freedom of slaves.

'I'm the first to say that White America can celebrate Juneteenth, I just don't think White America should be the face of Juneteenth.

'And I think that's where the disconnect is. One, I'm asking this event be boycotted if they do not feel the need to remove this banner.

'Secondly, I'm asking everyone to call the city manager and voice your concerns about this particular banner.'

Other banners depicted different ethnicities - including black and Hispanic couples.

The black business leaders making up Juneteenth GVL's board initially defended the banner - saying that they were formulated to reflecting diversity.

Co-founder Pete Lee told WYFF: 'The images on the flag were very intentional

'We have been knocking at the door for so long to include us. Now that we have a seat at the table, the last thing we want to do is what's been done for years is to exclude.'

Rueben Hays, the founder and CEO, previously said that making the celebration exclusively black 'is not in the spirit of unity.'

But following the outrage, the organization said they would take the flags down 'as soon as possible.'

In a statement, Juneteenth GVL wrote: 'We would like to offer an apology to the community for the presence of non-black faces being represented on two flags representing Juneteenth.

'We acknowledge this mistake having been made and will correct the error quickly.

'This error was an attempt at uniting all of Greenville and thereby a slight oversight on one individual's part that prevented us from fully embracing the rich potential and celebrating the depth of the black culture through the message and meaning of Juneteenth, and for that we apologize to you the entire community.

'The flags in question will be removed as soon as possible.'

Juneteenth Mega Fest in the South Carolina town is a week-long event featuring concerts and other family-friendly events.

One local person said on social media: 'This was intentional disrespect and he needs to be held accountable. Just how stupid do you think we are.'

Another said: 'This was disrespectful and it shows no sense of love of Black people or our history.

'Why would you put the descendants of the people who put us in chains on a flag that celebrates our freedom?

'Unite with your own first before you start hugging others.'

While a third added: 'How were you not aware how problematic that is?'

Juneteenth - or June 19 - was made a federal holiday in June 2021.

It marks when Union troops began enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 in Galveston, Texas.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment

Comments / 0