A viral video of two racially diverse toddlers embracing on a New York City street is being widely shared again as protests continue to grow in the United States.
- Maxwell and Finnegan have an Instagram page which attempts to bridge the racial divide
- There video from 2019 has resurged as protests across the country continue against racism
- The toddlers’ families are currently isolating from the coronavirus pandemic together
Firm friends Maxwell, 2, and Finnegan, 3, acquired worldwide fame last year when their parents posted the now-viral clip to social media.
“It’s resurging and coming back around,” Finnegan’s father Dan McKenna told ABC News.
“We saw it shared and people started reaching out. We’ve seen a lot of things that said, ‘wow, this is still relevant’. It’s more relevant than it was before.”
When they realised they had a following around the world, the two families decided to use it to make a difference.
They set up an Instagram page based on their sons’ names to share advice from experts about how to talk to children in an effort to bridge the racial divide.
In his original post, one of Maxwell’s two fathers, Michael Cisneros, explained the embrace was the result of just 48 hours apart: “It’s Thursday. These two haven’t seen each other since Tuesday. So many feels, it’s beautiful. So thankful.”
The vision of Maxwell, who is black, and Finnegan, who is white, struck a chord with viewers — something Mr Cisneros attributes to racial tensions.
“It’s sad that it got so big because of the boys’ differences, coming from different backgrounds, being different colours,” he said.
“On the flip side it’s good, it keeps the conversation going.”
Their parents had initially met in a local restaurant in 2018 and bonded over their young children.
The two families now celebrate birthdays together, go on vacation and attend the same weekly music classes.
When faced with a months-long lockdown brought about by the coronavirus, it was decided they would quarantine together too.
The need for change is something Maxwell’s father is now acutely aware of.
“I fear for my son’s future. I know what every parent of a black child feels,” Mr Cisneros said.
“[Husband] Alex and I will do everything we can to protect him but we can’t protect him when he’s not with us.”