Great Value Juneteenth Ice Cream at Walmart. Photo:Twitter/ariesfirebomb

By now you would have thought corporations would have learned their lesson about exploiting Black pain for capital gain after the killing of George Floyd. Well… guess not.

Walmart recalled its Juneteenth ice cream commemorating the holiday after it received heavy backlash on social media. 

The ice cream which consisted of a swirl of red velvet and cheesecake flavors, had critics calling out the company for using the Juneteenth for market strategy. 

Understandably, there were some people who didn’t understand what the fuss was about. Who doesn’t love ice cream, especially during these heatwaves across the country?

Take a look at the design of the product and you decided. 

The one-pint jar was decorated with pan African colors (and a sprinkle of yellow), with two Black hands giving a high-five with the message that said “Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation, and enduring hope.” Let’s not forget that Great Value logo to top it all off. 

Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Union soldiers announced the news of freedom to Black slaves in Galveston, Texas 2 ½ years after the Emancipation proclaimation freed slaves in Southern states. 

It was just last year; President Joe Biden signed a bill to make it a national holiday. Several states have designated it in law as an officially paid state holiday. Like any national holiday, the country will find ways to celebrate it. Have you seen Easter? Thanksgiving? Christmas? 4th of July? 

This is a capitalist country and companies will always find ways to make money. Can you honestly be shocked at yet another recall and a generic apology? How many times do Black people have to be on the defense? 

Fair arguments have been made on both sides. The best thing to do as suggested on Twitter is to continue to support Black-owned brands. Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s invest our energy into having real conversations about our history while uplifting Black companies who put in the hard work day in and day out.

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Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...