Skip to comments.'Ghetto Talent Show,' Watermelon Eating Contest Outrages Community
Posted on 07/26/2005 2:20:54 PM PDT by Imani
Miami city leaders are apologizing for a news release that invited summer campers to a ''Ghetto Style Talent Show'' and ''Watermelon Eating Contest.''
The release said that children participating in the summer camp who "know the meaning of ghetto style" would have a chance to "prove just how ghetto they are.''
Members of the black community expressed outrage at the wording of the invitation to the talent show. The show will be part of the grand finale picnic for the city's summer camp program to be held Friday at Hadley Park.
After being criticized by residents of the nearby Model City neighborhood and community leaders, Miami Parks Director Ernest Burkeen, who is black, released a formal apology and announced the renaming of the talent show.
The show will now be called the "Funky Talent Show," according to Burkeen's written statement. The watermelon contest will still be part of the event.
Even though the name has been changed, Burkeen did still continue to defend the choice of the name for the show.
"The word 'ghetto' was used to imply a down home show, not something offensive, but embracing the culture of today's youth and their language," he said.
Church and community leaders said that changing the name isn't enough -- the damage has already been done.
"It's almost equivalent to saying, 'We're having bananas at Jose Marti Park' and referring to Miami as a 'Banana Republic,'" the Rev. Richard Dunn said.
Other critics said that the watermelon eating contest is a painful reminder of racially insensitive stereotypes.
"Watermelon, back in the days, was a good food for African Americans, according to the Bible, but at the same time, it had an attachment with slavery and bondage ties," the Rev. Carl Johnson said.
Some members of the community had a different perspective and said that critics were missing the point.
Michael Hardaway said, "They have to understand that the young generation has a whole different style than they do At a ghetto-style talent show the kids are getting together to show their talent."
Other community activists said changing the name of the contest is just the start of what needs to happen.
Dunn suggested that instead of buying hundreds of watermelons for the contest, the money could be spent on school supplies and backpacks for kids who need them.
Andre Williams said, "No more watermelons --- and as Reverend Dunn says, we need to give books and school supplies to our children."
City officials said Tuesday that the contest is popular and it will not be canceled. The picnic will go on Friday as planned and will include up to 3,000 children from across the city.
The only Rezes I've been too have been the Seminole, Miccousoukee, Shinnecock and Oneida, all of which were not the greatest though nowhere near as scary as NW 79th Street in Miami. I've heard that Pine Ridge is SD is pretty rough though.
NYC wins again -- East New York is the worst.
I'll take your word for it about NW 79th street! lol
Double-barrelled Mega-PING! to both lists! If you want on, FReepmail me!
Having been there, I agree.
and for his next stunt he'll do the 'Stuntman' routine from
"Kentucky Fried Movie"...
but this is ok-
Officials ready lynching re-enactment
First of all Padre, NOBODY brings bananas to the domino tables in JM park. Its Cafe Cubano and Pastelitos, the latter preferably filled with Guava. Occassionally, one of the Viejitos will bring over some Tostones from the LA Cafe, but those are made from Platanos anyway.
New York City always wins in all categories, good or bad.
I guess in the Venice ghetto mentioned in this thread, it'd have to be a paddle-by shooting. ;)
You mean new and improvised, right?
*shaking head, laughing while sad*
Watermelons should just be outlawed entirely. How can anyone look at a watermelon and not think 'black ghetto food'? /sarc. off
My family used to have seed spitting contests in our driveway every summer. What a wonderful memory!!! Doesn't have anything to do with race. What a ridiculous thing to protest. And saying the money spent on watermelons would be better spent on school supplies is just cruel!! Can you even imagine the disappointment of those kids?
" I must not be reading this right. Watermelon and African Americans in the Bible????"
Yes, it's right there in the book of Dan 11:3. "And the sons of Ham shall cleave unto their melons". Some scholars argue that it was mis-translated from Aramaic and should read "her melons". Who knows?
I will never forget the time as a young college guy in Macon, Georgia we had a "bring what you can" poor student barbecue. We grilled hot dogs, drank Carling ($2.49 a six! Get a case!) and watermelon. Full and satiated we offered the remaining watermelon to two about 13 yr old black kids from the neighborhood as they walked by. At first they were enthusiastic and took the offered melon. Not 100 steps later we were met with honky #%^*(^ and other niceties as the watermelon was thrown back in the yard. And it was good melon, sigh.
"The show will now be called the "Funky Talent Show," according to Burkeen's written statement. The watermelon contest will still be part of the event."
Well, that's much better. In fact, let's call them "funkies" instead of "ghettos" now. That way even fewer people will be offended.
Test tomorrow ;)
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