(AP) – Retailers and marketers have been quick to commemorate Juneteenth with an avalanche of merchandise from ice cream to T-shirts to party favors. But many are getting backlash on social media for what critics say is undermining the day.
Juneteenth was designated as a federal holiday last year to honor the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
A search for Juneteenth items among online sellers like Amazon and J.C. Penney produced everything from toothpicks with pan-African flags to party plates and balloons.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, apologized last month after getting slammed on social media for a Juneteenth ice cream flavor of swirled red velvet and cheesecake under its store label Great Value.