NYC’s “Silent Protest Art Walk” Will Commemorate 100th Anniversary Of W.E.B. Du Bois’ Historic Demonstration
History is looking to repeat itself Friday (Jul. 28) with The People’s Silent Protest Art Walk, a demonstration that pays homage to the 100th anniversary of the NAACP’s Silent March Parade.
Organized by the initiative The Kindred Arts, protesters will gather at New York City’s Bryant Park to follow in the steps of James Weldon Johnson and W.E.B Du Bois, who made history with the NAACP for their silent protest on July 28, 1917.
Dressed in white, protestors took to Fifth Avenue against the lyching and senseless murders of African Americans. As Google notes in their statement (their doodle for the day also celebrates the march), thousands were silent with their banners sending the messages like, “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and “Your Hands Are Full of Blood.” Johnson and Du Bois pressed then-President Woodrow Wilson to make promise on his campaign, where he vowed to protect the civil liberties of African Americans. The march set the tone for protests and practices that are still used today by activists. “Today’s Doodle commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade, and honors those whose silence resonates a century later,” their statement reads.
On their site, the organizers of the march listed several reasons for their silent protest:
We march because we deem it a crime to be silent in the face of injustice in every form.
We march to diffuse the caustic political climate. We march because we are thoroughly opposed to racism, police brutality, poverty, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, fear, hatred and the host of evils that are forced on us. It is time for justice and equality to be manifested in the execution of laws and in the fabric of the country.
We live in spite of the death shadowing us and ours. We march in the name of the marginalized.We prosper in the face of the most unwarranted and illegal oppression.
We march in memory of the lost. They died to prove our worthiness to live.
The event comes days after President Donald Trump tweeted a ban on transgender people from the US military. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he tweeted Wednesday (Jul. 26).
Like the freedom fighters before us, protestors are encouraged to wear white. Find out more about The People’s Silent Protest Art Walk, here.