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Walmart has apologized for selling Juneteenth-themed ice cream.
The multinational company offered an apology on Tuesday amid outrage over its Celebration Edition: Juneteenth Ice Cream, a red velvet and cheesecake-flavored dessert sold under its Great Value label, media outlets reported.
A label on the ice cream pint read: “Share and celebrate African American culture, emancipation and enduring hope.”
Juneteenth, celebrated on 19 June, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people. It originated in 1865, when enslaved people in Texas, the last rebel state during the civil war, were informed about the Emancipation Proclamation.
Last June, the US officially recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday, after Joe Biden signed a bill into law.
In a statement, Walmart said: “Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence. 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.”
Walmart sells other Juneteenth-themed items including shirts and decorations.
Many took to social media, calling out the decision to sell the ice cream for profiting from a holiday meant to memorialize the end of slavery.
“This is what happens when you commercialize federal holidays,” said the comedian Kevin Fredericks, on TikTok. “It just became a federal holiday. Now you can celebrate with this ice cream.”
Others promoted Creamalicious, a Black-owned ice cream brand, that is sold at Target.