Ten Thousand African Americans March in New York City to Protest Racial Violence

AFRICAN HISTORY, Uncategorized

On July 28, 1917, 10,000 African American men, women, and children marched in silence through the streets of New York City to protest lynching in America. In what is considered one of the first public demonstrations by African Americans in the 20th century, the NAACP mobilized thousands of members of the Black community in the “Negro Silent Protest Parade” down Fifth Avenue.

Today Is the Centennial of the Anti-Lynching Silent Parade

Formulated by James Weldon Johnson, the silent march was intended to be a public response and criticism of lynching and racial violence committed against African American communities in the United States. Earlier that summer, violence in East St. Louis, Illinois, killed many African Americans and devastated the Black community. Threatened by a growing African American labor force, a group of white men gathered in the downtown area of East St. Louis in May 1917 and began attacking and beating unsuspecting African Americans. That July, an armed white mob drove into Black residential areas and opened fire on men, women, and children; when Black residents shot back, a police officer was killed, triggering more violence. Armed white mobs flooded the Black community, shooting Black residents as they fled, hanging Black people from street lamps, and burning Black homes and businesses to the ground.

1917 NAACP Silent Protest Parade, Fifth Avenue, New York City | Beinecke  Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The thousands of marchers in New York City also were spurred to action by the racial terror lynching of 17-year-old Jesse Washington, who was hanged, burned, and dismembered by a white mob in front of City Hall in Waco, Texas, on May 15, 1916.

The silent marchers communicated their frustration to the nation by holding signs and banners, but did not speak one word. Children led the march wearing white, followed by prominent NAACP members like W.E.B. Du Bois and a banner that read “Your Hands Are Full of Blood.” The American flag was carried as a reminder of the democratic ideals that failed to protect African Americans. The march launched the NAACP’s public campaign against lynching and racial violence.

Spread the love
  • 170
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    170
    Shares
Art and the Fulani/Fulbe People

Art and the Fulani/Fulbe People

Fulani ArtBecause Fulani nomads do not change their fashion as frequently as other sedentary groups, traces of past aesthetic traditions tend to be perceptible in contemporary times. Fulani often entrust members of specialized castes or foreigners with the fabrication...

The Age of Iron in West Africa

The Age of Iron in West Africa

Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art October 2002 Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. In the period from 1400 to...

Africans in Ancient Greek Art

Africans in Ancient Greek Art

Tales of Ethiopia as a mythical land at the farthest edges of the earth are recorded in some of the earliest Greek literature of the eighth century B.C., including the epic poems of Homer. Greek gods and heroes, like Menelaos, were believed to have visited this place...

DOWNLOAD OUR BOOKS

×