Posted on June 20, 2024

White Juneteenth Scholarship Recipients in Texas Draw Outrage

Daniel Johnson, Black Enterprise, June 18, 2024

Now that Juneteenth is a national holiday, moments illustrate potential pitfalls of the holiday’s wider exposure. One such moment occurred June 24 when images of a peculiar Juneteenth Sponsorship Luncheon & Scholarship Awards in Texas circulated on social media.

Tyllah-Chanel Cornelio, an author, educator, and marketing strategist, shared an image of the scholarship recipients. Despite Juneteenth being in the name, only one of the recipients was Black. Naturally, this prompted outrage and concern, as well as some jokes.

Cornelio followed up her initial posts about the awards ceremony with a few updates.

In one, she said that there were other scholarship recipients, and the picture she shared was only from one group. That didn’t make the original photo OK.

“Now they are saying there were multiple donors, and these are the winners’ results from one donor. That’s not clarified in this post, and I still disagree with anyone not BLACK winning JUNETEENTH scholarship funds! If enough Black students didn’t apply, group the funds together to give them to the Black students who did! Them students need as much as they can get! It’s unacceptable to award Juneteenth scholarship funds to anyone who is not BLACK, period.” Cornelio wrote.

The personal injury attorney who sponsored the scholarships, J. Chad Parker, wrote in a post on Facebook that he only provided the funds for the scholarships and had no input on who was selected to receive the awards.