An Afrofuturist festival set in Detroit has received immense backlash following the discovery that Non POC patrons were expected to pay higher ticket prices for entry. Organizers at Afrofuture Youth say they’ve been bombarded with threats and suffered a loss of support. Comments on their Instagram and statements from artists set to perform influenced a change in their ticketing model.
Based in Detroit, Afrofuture Youth is an initiative founded on the support of Black lives through Afrofuturism via art, tech, media, and healing. Asserting their “resistance stems from creation,” festival organizers designed a tiered ticket model to prevent the exclusion of marginalized groups. To balance the scales and prevent “those with cultural, monetary, and class privileges” from co-opting the event, AFY listed ticket prices on Eventbrite that favored the audience for which their content is designed.
For Us, By Us
As more Black and Brown people are being excluded from events intended for their communities due to aggressive gentrification, AFY’s decision was well received by many within the POC audience. Those who have grown tired of cultural appropriation expressed their support for the initial ticket model on Twitter. Mimicking the social experiment of Saartj, a pop-up food stall in New Orleans, the pricing model was meant to resolve racial wealth disparity. However, once artists caught wind of the news, they pulled their performance. Once Eventbrite found out about the ten dollar difference in price, they threatened to unpublish the event from the site.
Rapper Tiny Jag, who planned to perform music from her project “Polly”, pulled out of the engagement stating her views didn’t align with AFY’s. A biracial woman, Tiny Jag could not reconcile the ticket price model because the project she intended to perform is named after her white grandmother. Confused by the decision, Tiny Jag wondered “How do you want me to come to a performance and perform these songs off a mixtape that is titled after this white woman that you would have charged double to get in here?” The rapper says she was notified by a Non POC friend and announced her decision to pull out July 2nd.
Comply or Else
In a statement released to CNN, Eventbrite said “events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity” are not permitted. Event coordinators at AFY were then notified that if they hadn’t changed their price model on their own accord, the event would be unpublished from the site. July 7th, Afrofuture Youth made an announcement on Twitter explaining their decision to alter the pricing. Citing threats received by White supremacists, AFY changed to a $20 general admission fee and suggested donation from Non POC.
Do you agree with their decision to alter ticket prices? Did you agree with their initial concept?
The Best Tributes You Didn’t See On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2021
Every year as the United States celebrates the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lasting legacy, we see social media platforms littered with various MLK quotations, “love one another” captions, you know – the general bulls**t we all wish we didn’t have to see on an annual basis.
What we don’t see enough are actual dialogues about who MLK was and the type of radical he actually was. He was not a martyr – he died as the State turned a blind eye to the obvious plots against his life. He was not a capitalist – he died firmly abhorring capitalism. Toward the end of his life, he even grew increasingly concerned with Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.
MLK’s memory and legacy have been sanitized to make white Americans feel less guilty about their treatment of Black Americans and their complicity in white supremacy and its many atrocities. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King stated in no uncertain terms “that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice…”
Every third Monday in January those white folks more committed to order than to justice put themselves on full display. They proudly wave their “I’m not racist!” flag in Black folks’ faces, as if we give a damn about their shallow tweet quoting a radical they know nothing about or their vapid, over-filtered selfie on Instagram captioned by a “deep, thoughtful” Martin Luther King, Jr. quotation.
Instead of carrying on with the commercialism of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, let’s take a look at a few of the best non-performative tributes the internet provided this year.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Share News of the Loss of Their Unborn Child
Early Thursday morning Chrissy Teigen and John Legend let the world know of the loss of their unborn child. In a heartfelt and heartbreaking post to social media, Teigen described her and husband John Legend’s “deep pain you only hear about.” She went on to talk about how the couple does not typically name their children “until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before (they) leave the hospital,” but somehow they fell on the name “Jack.”
The heartbreaking news comes just days after first being admitted to the hospital for what she described as heavy bleeding. However, two days ago, she assured fans that both her and baby were healthy and doing well. Teigen, no stranger to social media, continued to engage her following, giving brief updates along the way, when shortly after midnight she shared photos of her and John in the hospital cradling their newborn in the immediate aftermath.
While her husband has remained largely unproblematic and scandal-free, Teigen has been the frequent target of scathing criticism – much of which is completely valid. From her ridiculing Black hair, to her seemingly mocking intimate partner violence when she referenced Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez’s incident, Chrissy Teigen has been the focus of such harsh vitriol that she has threatened to quit social media altogether on multiple occasions. Sharing such personal news with the world may come as a surprise to many.
Overwhelmingly, however, the internet’s response has been positive and embracing. Celebrities and non-celebs alike have offered words of support to the couple as they go through this difficult time. See both the model’s post and the heartwarming responses to it below.
Chadwick Boseman Passes Away At 43
Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role as King T’Challa in the box office smash “Black Panther” passed away from colon cancer Friday.
The actor was first diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2016, but remained active in his career with much of his work being released post-diagnosis. A statement from his family confirmed that he continued to work despite his cancer progressing, befitting a man who brought America’s first Black superhero to the silver screen.
As the news of the actor’s death spread, many took to social media to share their condolences.
The tributes continue to flood in as news of his passing continues to ripple through. Read the official statement from his family below.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.
Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.
A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.
It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.
He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.
The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”