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Indianapolis Children's Museum Apologizes After Backlash For Selling 'Juneteenth Watermelon Salad'

Indianapolis Children's Museum Apologizes After Backlash For Selling 'Juneteenth Watermelon Salad'
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Jonelle Slaughter/Facebook

The Indianapolis Children's Museum has apologized after significant backlash for a menu item that was chosen for their "Juneteenth Jamboree."

The scorned food, a pre-packaged watermelon salad called "Juneteenth Watermelon Salad", has been criticized for feeding into Jim Crow era racist stereotypes about Black communities and the foods they eat.

Licey Smith, a Black patron who was visiting the museum with her daughter and nephew, told the Indianapolis Star:

"To have that many people sit in a room and no one raises their hand to say, ‘This is kind of awkward,’ is upsetting."

The backlash over the salad came as soon as it came up on the internet's radar.

TMZ and local paper the Indianapolis Star covered the museum's controversial menu choice on June 4 and it all snowballed from there.

The museum's official apology reads:

"As a museum, we apologize and acknowledge the negative impact that stereotypes have on Black communities. The salad has been removed from the menu."
"We are currently reviewing how we may best convey these stories and traditions during this year’s Juneteenth celebration as well as making changes around how future food selections are made by our food service provider."
"Our food service provider uses the food and beverage menu to commemorate and raise awareness of holidays like Juneteenth. The team that made this selection included their staff members who based this choice of food on their own family traditions."
"As we work to create a culture of empowerment and inclusivity, we know there will be stumbles along the way. As a museum, we have put a significant effort behind sharing the critical and diverse stories of a wide range of individuals."
"We also have placed a strong emphasis on expanding DEAI initiatives throughout the museum. We resolve to do better, and continue bringing all voices forward in our work."

Even after the museum's apology, many remained incredulous the decision had been made in the first place.

There was a significant amount of criticism for the museum's apology as well.


The museum has since revised their apology to say "Black communities."