Jillian Graham, aka Detroit-based rapper Tiny Jag, pulled out of a local music festival this week because she disagreed with its pay model, in which people of color would pay less for tickets than white festivalgoers.
Graham said she only found out about AfroFuture Fest’s pay model when a white friend reached out to her and sent her a screenshot via Instagram that outlined the pay difference. The early bird POC (“people of color”) ticket was $10 while the early bird “non-POC” ticket cost $20.
Graham says after the festival confirmed the price structure, she immediately withdrew from the event and requested that she be removed from any promotional materials. She says because she had publicly supported the festival without knowing about the discrepancy between the ticket prices, that she had to publicly withdraw her support as well. She did so by taking to Twitter.
She indicated feeling very triggered, and discussed how the pay model would have affected her family personally — specifically her grandmother.
“A lot of the songs that I perform are from my first project called Polly — that is my grandmother’s name,” Graham says. “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.”
“It’s non-progressive and it’s not solution-focused in my eyes,” she says. “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.”
Although I commend her, why would someone half to have white relatives to know that this was wrong?
If I were part of a concert that said blacks pay double, I would immediately condemn it, and I don’t have any black grandmas.
Here is the concert promoters vapid explanation:
Equality means treating everyone the same
Equity is insuring everyone has what they need to be successful
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).
Affording joy and pleasure is unfortunately still a privilege in our society for POC and we believe everyone should have access to receiving such.
We’ve seen too many times orgasmic events happening in Detroit and other POC populated cities and what consistently happens is people outside of the community benefiting most from affordable ticket prices because of their proximity to wealth.
This cycle disproportionately displaces Black and brown peoplefrom enjoying entertainment in their own communities.
As an Afrofuturist youth lead initiative the voices of our youth inform our resistance.
ht/ hot salsa
“If you don’t see my Blackness, you don’t see me. Periodt!”