Alaska bar changes name to “Slave Auction” event after NAACP complains, unhappy

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Until recently, an annual event at the Pioneer Bar in Sitka, Alaska commemorating the state’s transfer of Russian control to the United States was known as the “Slavery Auction.” Going forward, the bar owner said on Monday it would be called the “Alaska Day auction.”

On Sunday morning, the Anchorage Chapter of the NAACP issued a press release condemning the name of the charity event scheduled to take place that evening, the Alaska Expedition News reported. “The connotation of buying and selling people against their will into slavery is nothing to glorify,” Section chair Wanda Laws told The News. “I would like them to change the name, I am not asking them to cancel the event.”

The event’s organizer, a local bartender named Rita Ledbetter, said she didn’t see the problem. Of New:

Ledbetter said the event has been going on for almost 30 years and is held at the Pioneer Bar, the famous Sitka waterhole where she works. People auction off two hours of their time to do gardening or other chores, she said.

Profits go to causes such as breast cancer charities and the event has raised up to $ 7,000 in the past, Ledbetter said. This year the money is expected to go to the Sitka Fire Department. Usually between 150 and 200 people attend.

The bartender said she was organizing it “on her own,” although the committee that hosts the Alaska Day festival is aware of it.

Ledbetter told The News she didn’t know what the NAACP was. “Tell them to put their noses in their own business and leave us alone,” she said.

It turns out that the “slave auction” replaced another fundraiser that predated the Alaska Festival. “We had to get rid of the wet t-shirt contest,” Ledbetter said. “Because of the insurance. And it got wild.

The event took place on Sunday, raising $ 3,000 for the local volunteer fire department, Ledbetter told The Associated Press.

Alaska Day Festival president Ted Allio told the AP he thought it was all over the top. The Russians, Allio said, had enslaved the natives living in Sitka before the United States bought Alaska in 1867. “You don’t hear them screaming” about the name, he said. .

Alaska Sitka Tribe General Manager Lawrence SpottedBird disagreed. Allio “overstepped his comments,” SpottedBird said. “There should basically be excuses for using that term.”


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