A Detroit festival that was originally charging white attendees double the admisison it charged people of color has now made pricing the same for all purchasers after receiving backlash.
In a report from the New York Times, AfroFuture Fest initially charged people of color $20 while non-people of color were charged $40. Now all tickets are $20.
Adrienne Ayers, the founder and co-director of Afrofuture Youth, said that the change came after threats and harassment, most notably against the other co-director of Afrofuture Youth’s family, as well as the owner of the venue where the festival will be taking place.
“For safety, not anything else but that, the new ticket structure will be a standard set price across the board of $20,” Ayers said. “However, there will be a suggested donation for non-people of color.”
Ayers said that the price structure was created because “events often designed for marginalized black and brown communities can easily be co-opted by those with cultural, monetary and class privileges.”
“Our goal is to ensure that the youth of our community can participate in the building of a more just society, one that specifically promotes equity over equality,” she added.
Ayers said that the threats and harassment were the result of right-wing websites highlighting the festival. However, she said that “a lot of white people” were supportive of the price difference.
The initial price difference also resulted in some artists backing out of the festival. Jilliam Graham, known as rapper Tiny Jag, dropped out of the event.
“I just felt as if the wool was over my eyes,” Graham said. “It was soon followed with just an overall recognition that this is just wrong. It wouldn’t matter what race I was, I knew that I didn’t agree with it.”
As the Times notes, there are already plans for another festival next year despite the controversy.
Source: New York Times
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