Detroit rapper Tiny Jag, real name Jillian Graham, was scheduled to perform at AfroFuture Fest’s event in Detroit in August. but pulled out of the Michigan music festival after she learned that white people would be charged twice the amount to attend than “people of color.”
“I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial,” Graham told the Detroit Metro Times. “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.”
The early bird “people of color” tickets cost $10, while “non-POC” tickets cost $20.
The Detroit rapper said she learned of the festival’s pay model when a white friend sent her a screenshot of an Instagram advertisement. Tiny Jag later publicly withdrew her support.
AfroFuture say on their Eventbrite page that organizers cite “equality” and “equity” in their ticketing, and state their 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).”
“Affording joy and pleasure is unfortunately still a privilege in our society for POC and we believe everyone should have access to receiving such,” organizers wrote.
Graham — whose grandmother is white — said while she understands the goal of equity and equality for the black community, she called the move “non-progressive” and “not solution-focused.”
“It seems almost like it has spite, and unfortunately with spite comes hate, and that’s just not obviously going to be a good direction for us to go if we’re looking for positive change,” she said.
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