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A black artist will not be performing at an Afro-music festival after it was discovered it was charging tickets for white people at a higher price than non-whites.
“I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial,” said Jillian Graham to the Detroit Metro Times. Graham is better known as her stage name Tiny Jag.
“I have family members that would have, under those circumstances, been subjected to something that I would not ever want them to be in … especially not because of anything that I have going on.”
AfroFuture, a Detroit based youth music festival, announced they would be selling tickets for people of color at half the price as tickets for non-persons of color.
OFFICIAL LINE UP For Afrofuture Fest IS HERE✨✨✨
We’re activating the BLACK farm grounds of FEEDOM FREEDOM(866 Manistique) & YES, this is happening on BLACK Detroit’s Eastside
— Afrofuture Youth (@AFYDet) July 4, 2019
According to the Eventbrite page, tickets for white people are $20 and tickets for people of color are $10. After July 17th, prices will be raised to $40 for whites and $20 people of color.
A spokesperson for Evenbrite told the Daily Caller News Foundation, “We do not permit events that require attendees to pay different prices based on their protected characteristics such as race or ethnicity. In this case, we have notified the creator of the event about this violation and requested that they alter their event accordingly,” the spokeswoman added. “We have offered them the opportunity to do this on their own accord; should they not wish to comply we will unpublish the event completely from our site.”
It has been two days since Eventbrite announced they would take down the page if they continued charging non-people of color more money. The event organizers have not changed their ticket pricing and they doubled down on their policy via Twitter. At the time of publishing the event page has not been taken down or changed by Eventbrite.
“A lot of the songs that I perform are from my first project called Polly — that is my grandmother’s name,” said Graham. “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? Like, it’s just outrageous from so many different angles.”
Some on the left were outraged when Graham decided to withdraw from the festival including author Ijeoma Oluo. She stated on twitter, “Gawd this is embarrassing. My white mom would be PROUD to pay more because she understands the history of economic exploitation of black folk in this country to benefit whiteness & she wants a better future for black folk, including her black kids.”
Gawd this is embarrassing. My white mom would be PROUD to pay more because she understands the history of economic exploitation of black folk in this country to benefit whiteness & she wants a better future for black folk, including her black kids.
— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) July 6, 2019
Conservatives including Tammy Bruce praised Graham for backing out of the festival.
Good for her "Tiny Jag pulls out of AfroFuture Fest after learning white people would be charged a different price to attend" https://t.co/2LJjU8XkuH
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) July 7, 2019
Organizers defended their race-based pricing for tickets on their event page stating, “Our ticket structure was built to insure that the most marginalized communities (people of color) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit).”
As of now, the festival is still scheduled to occur on August 3rd.