Walmart apologizes for selling Juneteenth ice cream at its stores

The ice cream is a swirled red velvet and cheesecake flavor sold under Walmart’s Great Value brand

Walmart has apologized after rolling out Juneteenth ice cream meant to celebrate the upcoming federal holiday observed on June 20.

As reported by the International Business Times, the ice cream is a swirled red velvet and cheesecake flavor sold under Walmart’s Great Value brand. The packaging boasts an image of two Black hands with the Pan-African colors of yellow, green, red, and black as the background. 

The pints include the message, “Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope.”

However, following backlash over the Juneteenth-themed ice cream, Walmart announced that it was removing the items from its shelves.

“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” Walmart said in a statement to Fox Televisions. “However, we received feedback that a few items caused concern for some of our customers and we sincerely apologize. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate.”

Juneteenth marks the official end of slavery for Black Americans at the end of the Civil War on June 19, 1865. As theGrio reported previously, Juneteenth became a federal holiday in June 2021, after the Senate voted unanimously to pass legislation to honor the momentous day in American history.

At the time, attorney and activist Gerald Griggs told theGrio: “It means a lot as an African American. As the descendent of slaves, it means a lot to finally recognize the true independence day of melanated people in this country.”

Rein Morton waves a Pan-African flag on horseback during a Juneteenth celebration in Los Angeles, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Juneteenth, which began in Galveston, Texas, is also recognized as Black Independence Day, because on the nation’s official July 4 holiday celebration of America’s emancipation from British rule in 1776, Black people remained in a state of enslavement. Walmart is facing backlash from Black Twitter for the ice cream flavor that appears to commercialize the new federal holiday.

In addition, one Twitter user noted “a white-owned chemical manufacturing company called Balchem Corp. trademarked “Juneteenth” on September 2, 2021.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office notes several variations of Juneteenth trademarked by different corporations, one being Balchem.

One user on Twitter said, “no one asked for this @Walmart.”

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