#BlackExcellence: Google Celebrates Our Story, the 100th Anniversary of the Silent Parade

by Jessica Lane

July 28, 2017

Photo by Google

“There was no singing, no chanting — just silence,” read the statement published by Google this morning.

Today, Google celebrates our legacy and the 100th Anniversary of the Silent Parade. On this day, July 28, 1917, almost 10,000 Black women, men and children marched their way down New York’s Fifth Avenue and didn’t stop until they reached Madison Square.

Can I just say how much I LOVE Black Google Doodle days!  Something about the whole tech world – read mostly white folks – being forced to celebrate our magnificent stories, it just makes my day a little bit brighter. Now, back to our history…

It became one of the first huge protests of lynching and other brutal acts of violence against Black people. What brought on this epic march? We had enough. Earlier that month in East St. Louis, between 40 and 250 Black people were killed and thousands lost everything as white mobs ripped their community apart.

The Silent Parade was organized by the NAACP, including #BlackExcellence legends James Weldon Johnson and W.E.B Du Bois. They demanded President Woodrow Wilson create and enact laws to protect us and “make America safe for democracy.” This was a direct jab at the President’s promise to bring democracy to the world through World War I. How do we concern ourselves with democracy abroad, when it’s own citizen were robbed of democratic rights, right here in America? Unfortunately, it sounds all too familiar!

Take a moment to remember our story and our impact with these pics below:

(Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

A silent march to protest the police treatment of blacks during riots in East St. Louis, New York, New York, 1917. They marched down Fifth Avenue on that summer Saturday without saying a word. They chanted no chants, sang no protest songs. The only sounds were the disconcertingly mournful thuds of muffled drums and, of course, the marchers’ footsteps on the hot pavement. It was a parade of silent protest.

TELL US: Did you know about the Silent Parade?

 

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