Statement of Unity with the George Floyd Protests
We, the Harvard Glee Club, stand united with all those who seek to end structural and individual racism in this country, especially the Black Lives Matter movement. We denounce the patterns of police torture, the killing of black people, and the recent acts of violence against protestors. We recognize our duty to actively disavow this culture; we deeply mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless others lost to hate crimes and police brutality whose names we will never know.
Founded shortly before the Civil War, the Glee Club has struggled to uphold our cardinal virtue of unity in the face of racial division. W. E. B. Du Bois was rejected by our group on the basis of his race in the 1880s. Drue King actively faced discrimination by the Harvard Glee Club in 1941 when our group acquiesced to racist demands by concert organizers. We examined our history through a concert dedicated to the Legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois in 2019. But a one-time examination is not enough.
As a group benefitting from the privilege found at an institution like Harvard, too often has our group been complicit in the face of racial injustice. Founded in 1858, the Glee Club remains tarnished by the legacy of racism generationally pervasive in our society and music. These portions of our identity remain a constant reminder that everyone must actively seek to be anti-racist every day.
We have been and will continue to encourage our members, alumni, and listeners to donate to causes that advance the Black Lives Matter movement. We also pledge to match up to $1000 donated by our current or recent members to related causes, with our contribution going toward the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The Harvard Glee Club
June 3, 2020