Culture

Google Doodle Honors 100th Anniversary Of The NAACP’s 1917 Silent Parade

Source: Google

The Google Doodle honors the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade.

As one of the first mass protests against anti-black violence in the United States, the Silent Parade of 1917 occurred on July 28, 1917, in New York City, when more than 10,000 black people marched silently down Fifth Avenue. While the women and children were dressed in white the men wore dark suits, as they protested racial violence and white supremacy in the United States.

The protest stemmed from an attack on black people in East St. Louis on July 2, 1917, when white mobs stabbed, shot, and lynched anyone that was black. The death toll was over 200 with the city’s surviving 6,000 black residents becoming refugees.

Ultimately, the idea of the Silent Parade came about from James Weldon Johnson, who joined the NAACP as a field secretary in 1916. He presented the idea during an executive committee meeting of the NAACP Harlem branch shortly after the East St. Louis Riot and suggested that the entire city’s black population participate in it.

At 1 p.m. the protest began, with the collection of black protesters carrying signs and banners condemning the country for its mistreatment of black people. The Silent Parade concluded at Madison Square, where everyone a part of the protest broke out in cheers.

The Silent Parade was an example of courage and direct mobilization, influencing other mass protests that came after it, from the Civil Rights March on Washington to the Black Lives Matter protests occurring today. Google Doodle has also created a video honoring the Silent Parade, which you can watch below.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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