Black Lives Matter
Dear Friends of the HRM,
The Hudson River Museum unequivocally believes that Black Lives Matter. This time, it is George Floyd; before him, it was Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, and many others. We say their names. Their deaths provide context for what is happening across the country today and betray our nation’s proclaimed values.
As our country reels from the deep wounds of racism, we stand in solidarity with our community and with nonviolent protesters nationwide in denouncing racism, systemic abuse, violence, and injustice.
We recognize the myriad issues in our society that are unresolved and unattended. We are reminded of how much work we all need to do to heal these divisions. We are committed to the ways in which we can elevate and amplify individual and collective voices and confront, examine and dismantle the structures that perpetuate racism. It is incumbent on us to both listen and act.
Museums can express powerful ideas and emotions; likewise, art, artists, historians, educators, and all those who support the efforts, can affect real and systemic change. The HRM is strongly committed to reflecting the diversity of our community and showing the Black lived experience, including through our community-developed exhibition and collection project Through Our Eyes: Milestones and Memories of African Americans in Yonkers, and our current exhibition, Derrick Adams: Buoyant, which celebrates Black joy while also reflecting in the installation We Came to Party and Plan that claiming leisure space simultaneously advances necessary agendas.
This change does not happen automatically—we must do the work and we cannot stop. The end result cannot be stasis. We are inspired by seeing so many come together in our community to work toward education, and positive change. We experienced it at this past Sunday’s march in Yonkers and know that so many are ready to work together. We commit to continuing to share art and stories that shine a light on our struggle, resilience, and reinvention as a country. We likewise commit to fighting discrimination and promoting inclusion, equity, and belonging within our own institution and community, striving to contribute to a better future for all.
Director and CEO
Image: Photographer Unidentified. Early Residents of Runyon Heights, Yonkers, ca. 1950s. Black-and-white photograph. Digital gift of Carolyn Grayson Upshaw, 2019 (D2019.10.001).