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Why Walmart is pulling Juneteenth-themed ice cream from its shelves

After social media backlash, Walmart is walking back selling Juneteenth-themed ice cream in its stores

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Walmart sign

This June 1, 2017, file photo, shows a Walmart sign at a store in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. After social media backlash, Walmart is walking back putting Juneteenth-themed ice cream out in its stores.

Alan Diaz, Associated Press

Walmart pulled its own Great Value brand Juneteenth ice cream, following backlash online.

Critics called for the ice cream to be removed, “accusing the company of capitalizing on Juneteenth to sell products and questioned what it was doing to support the Black community,” according to Newsweek.

Juneteenth was named a federal holiday in 2021. It commemorates June 19, 1865, as the day Union soldiers brought the news that enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, were free. It happened two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. “All 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation recognizing it as a holiday or observance,” according to the New York Post.

On the ice cream carton, the label reads, “Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope.”

Electris Jones, a woman from North Carolina, first shared photos on Facebook calling out the brand, saying, “... Capitalize off the culture. With all of the Black owned brands why not promote their products. Give them room on the shelves.”

Other users on Twitter and social media soon followed.

On Monday, the company confirmed it would be removing the controversial ice cream from its shelves.

“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” the company said in a statement to Fox Television Stations. “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.”

Many Twitter users reacted to seeing the corporate Juneteenth ice cream by using it as an opportunity to shout out Creamalicious, which is an ice cream company that is Black-owned.