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America NEVER Beautiful

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
5 min

The field of classical music was and remains racist. The racism is documented, pervasive, and continues. AMERICA was founded in the blood and slavery of BIPOC people, inflicted upon us in the brutality of white people, and these acts are part of a policy of oppression which manifest as white supremacy.

Just days ago, a 9 year old Black girl in Rochester, NY was handcuffed and pepper sprayed by 3 white officers. Think about any child. Think about your child. Think about the trauma and damage that young, innocent girl will carry with her the rest of her adult life. Think about what you would do if this was your child and what you won’t ever do when it happens again.

I wrote this work knowing that a brilliant artist---with her own stories of immigration, struggle, resolve, and success---would be playing and advocating for an array of composers and change. Her work is compelling, urgent and beautiful. America’s white classical community would do well to follow her lead and fully embrace her voice. Until that happens, America’s BIPOC classical community will continue to suffer, and their music and voices won’t be heard.

I don’t want to be complicit in the horrors of white America, so, as a composer, I will do all that I can to remind us all just how much America has not, is not, and may not ever really be beautiful. -DBR

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