New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill has this week announced the launch of his new #TakeTwoKnees social challenge – aimed to shine a light on his African American communities’ struggle for racial justice.
“What the news this week and most weeks of my life demonstrates is that Black lives didn’t matter in our glorified past, and still don’t matter that much today …” Anthony, the first African-American principal player appointed to the New York Philharmonic, has this week said.
“Let’s try and #TakeTwoKnees in the struggle for justice and decency … no guidelines … your message, your voice, your mission, your focus … just #TakeTwoKnees for what you believe in …” he has said.
“We need to figure this out and confront it.”
Musicians, including violinists VC Artist Noah Bendix-Balgley, Elena Bianca and Melissa White, opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, flutist Demarre McGill and pianist Shai Wosner have joined Anthony in his #TakeTwoKnees online movement.
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#TakeTwoKnees My contribution to Anthony McGill’s (@mcgillclarinet) challenge. A Kaddish for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and so many others. We know the names of some, but not of countless others, whose stories never made the news because there wasn’t cell phone footage or because our ‘justice’ system failed to deliver for them. I pray we can see the holiness and humanity in everyone- the holiness of the ability of every one of us to breathe. We have a literal virus attacking us that takes away this ability- and our leaders have failed to protect us from it- especially our most vulnerable fellow citizens: lower-income and minority communities. But we all also have to recognize and grapple with the virus that has been here all this time: overt and tacit racism and discrimination that dehumanizes African-Americans on a daily
There's a man going 'round taking names.
— Lawrence Brownlee (@Brownleetenor) May 28, 2020
I want to thank @mcgillab for creating this challenge and it's a pleasure to accept it. Though the pain is so deep, I know above all else: we are strong. We are resilient. This is for everyone mourning right now. #blacklivesmatter #taketwoknees #flute pic.twitter.com/trW7jrNaZz
— Allison Loggins-Hull (@alogginshull) May 29, 2020