AfroMusic Festival is a music festival based in Detroit and as the name suggests it is geared towards African-Americans. Tickets cost $10 and non-POC tickets cost $20. What’s the difference? Well a non-POC is exactly what it sounds like, a non-person of color. Why would a festival charge people who are not of color twice as much as people of color? AfroMusic Festival explained their reasoning and said that too often events happen and people of color are not able to attend because they cannot afford the event even if it’s meant for them. But non-POC can afford the event because they have been afforded a far more privileged existence.
As you can imagine non- people of color were up in arms. The audacity of AfroMusic to expect equity. It’s not enough that you live in a world where your very being is more respected and appreciated than whole groups of people, but to be reminded of that fact let alone to be forced to do something that would even out the playing field? God forbid. AfroMusic festival had to change their ticket strategy after the backlash, but are still asking for donations.
But this concept made me think what if companies really did want to strive for equity? If a woman makes 73 cents to a man’s dollar, then women should pay 73 cents less for every dollar a man pays. These 73 cents are actually only applicable to white woman. Black women make 61 cents to a man’s dollar. So white women should pay 12 cents more than a black woman would. Could you imagine if the world operated on this sliding scale? This would make things feel a little bit more equitable. There is also the option of paying everyone equally, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
I was amazed at how upset people were. It’s common knowledge that the world we live in does not treat everyone fairly, and even the most progressive non-POC will often act in a way that proves that they are only interested in equality or equity when it does not affect them personally. Privilege can be experienced by anyone. I have been able to travel, I am college-educated, I have a full-time job, and even though my life has been far from picture-perfect I am still incredibly privileged compared to some people. I don’t see the issue with understanding that and paying more because of my privilege.
AfroMusic Festival will be happening in a few weeks and I hope that this attempt at equity will not take away from the experience. It should be an amazing weekend and the work that AfroFuture Youth is doing will be able to continue.