The Silent Parade of July 28, 1917, likely the first Civil Rights march
July 28, 2017 11:14 AM   Subscribe

'To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, women and children marched down Fifth Avenue in a parade of "silent protest against acts of discrimination and oppression" inflicted upon them in this country, and in other parts of the world. Without a shout or a cheer they made their cause known through many banners which they carried (PDF), calling attention to "Jim Crowism," segregation, disfranchisement, and the riots of Waco (warning: graphic images), Memphis and East St. Louis.' That was 100 years ago today, and it is remembered as likely the first African American Civil Rights march.

The march was organized by W. E. B. Du Bois, the NAACP and the second vice president of the organization, Harlem's James Weldon Johnson, and Rev. Hutchens Chew Bishop, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and realtor John E. Nail in Harlem, on July 28, 1917.

Johnson remembered the idea of a silent protest from A NAACP Conference in 1916 when Oswald Garrison Villard suggested it. The number of marchers is estimated between 8,000 and 10,000, with an estimated 20,000 onlookers. Though police were present and armed, the parade was recounted as "one of the most quiet and orderly demonstrations ever witnessed."

The NAACP marked the centennial of the march, and the initiative The Kindred Arts is bringing together another coalition of artists, activists and engaged community for The People's Silent Protest Art Walk in Bryant Park at 6 PM tonight.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
Also, today Google marked the 100th anniversary with a Google Doodle, and linked to Lynching in America, an online resource that was posted previously.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on July 28 [8 favorites]


I fell into a few of these thinks this morning after seeing the google doodle. Great post.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:59 AM on July 28 [2 favorites]


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