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Friday, July 28, 2017

Woodrow Wilson didn't deliver but 21st Century can re-enact- Silent Parade

Centennial Anniversary:

In the year 1917, there were several strange events: (a) Russian Revolution; (b) American entered World War I- The Great War; and (c) for Marian mystics, it was also the year of the Fatima apparitions.

But, Google reminded us, in a Google Doodle, about another event, the Silent Parade of July 28, 1917

It happened a century ago, on this July 28th, 1917, but the event is hardly ever mentioned.

This impressive visual could be re-enacted all across America today. It's certainly visually powerful and, in the 21st century, it could easily be a multi-racial and peaceful parade.  


What was the Silent Parade of 1917? 

100th anniversary of civil rights march marked by Google Doodle – all you need to know

African Americans marched silently through New York in one of the first mass protests against anti-black violence in the US-
By David Hughes

What was the background to the Silent Parade of 1917?

The Silent Parade reflected the heightened anger of black Americans following a recent outbreak of vicious race-related violence.

Between May and July 1917 brutal riots in East St. Louis, a city in Illinois, between 40 and 250 black people were killed by white mobs.

Authorities were blamed for failing to protect innocent lives, with a chilling contemporary report describing how police were “either indifferent or encouraged the barbarities”.

The bloody scenes in East St. Louis sparked fury among black people across a nation already simmering with racial tension as African Americans migrated from the south to predominantly white industrial centres. (A northern immigration.)

Such violence was by no means uncommon – a lynching of a black farmer the previous year had attracted a gruesome crowd of 10,000 white Texans, according to the academic Chad Williams.
What happened during the Silent Parade?

On July 28, between 8,000 and 10,000 African American men, women and children marched silently down Fifth Avenue, New York City, in condemnation of the riots.

Women and children, all dressed in white, led the group, with the men following behind in dark suits, creating a poignant visual spectacle.

Placards held by the protesters expressed messages of peace and unity, as well as highlighting the contributions of African Americans to the nation and calling for justice over racial violence.

As well as a response to the shocking recent events in Illinois, the marchers demanded that President Woodrow Wilson delivered on campaign promises to protect black Americans.

His promised anti-lynching legislation never materialized – indeed, little was done to improve discrimination against African Americans during Wilson’s presidency.

However, as one of the first mass protests against anti-black violence in the US, the Silent Parade marks a significant landmark in the civil rights movement.

In my opinion, this is one of Google Doodle's best moments and it should be an annual traditional post.

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