Festival's Race-Based Price Plan Leads Rapper to Quit

AfroFuture Fest is charging people of color half price
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2019 12:50 PM CDT
Festival to Fans: We'll Charge Based on Your Skin Color
Rapper Tiny Jag is seen in a screen capture from her music video, "Soccer Mom."   (YouTube)

A Detroit arts and music festival has an unusual pricing plan that caused one artist to bail out in anger, Sky News reports. AfroFuture Fest, which is slated for August 3 and 4, will charge "people of color" less than "non-people of color." With a batch of free "POC" tickets already sold out, the early bird "POC" price is $10 and "Non-POC" price is $20; prices will later rise to $20 and $40, respectively. Organizers explained that equity is about everyone having "what they need to be successful," and the ticket pricing was designed so that "the most marginalized communities (people of color) are provided with an equitable chance at enjoying events in their own community (black Detroit)."

But for biracial rapper Tiny Jag, it was a bridge too far. "I was immediately enraged just because I am biracial," she tells 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." Jag, whose birth name is Jillian Graham, says her first project, Polly, was named after her grandmother, a "white woman that you would have charged double to get in here?" AfroFuture Fest's move comes as more wealthy whites are relocating to the largely black city and reparations are a hot topic on Capitol Hill. (See how David Brooks changed his mind on reparations.)

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