Associated Press, July 5, 2018
A black state lawmaker will hold a do-over Friday after a social media backlash over ribbon-cutting photos from the revitalized Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis that included only white people.
Democratic state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. said Thursday on Facebook Live that the image wasn’t reflective of the city he represents. He proposed a new photo with black leaders, and scheduled a new ribbon cutting for noon Friday.
“We want to show what St. Louis really looks like tomorrow,” he said.
The photos from the dedication featured more than a dozen people, including Republican Gov. Mike Parson and U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, and Roy Blunt, a Republican.
The Gateway Arch Park Foundation apologized in a statement Wednesday.
“As organizers of the event, we acknowledge that our ribbon cutting did not reflect the diversity of our community.”
The city is almost 48 percent black, according to data from the U.S. Census, larger than any other racial group.