First Massive African American Protest in American History (July 28, 1917) were children in New York City participating in the Silent Protest Parade against the East St. Louis Riots. Between 8,000 and 10,000 African-Americans marched against lynching and anti-black violence in a protest. The march was precipitated by the East St. Louis Riot of May and July of that year, which was an outbreak of labor and race-related violence that caused up to 200 deaths and extensive property damage. The Parade was organized by famous civil rights activist and first African-American to earn a doctorate (from Harvard University) W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP. The protesters hoped to influence President Woodrow Wilson to carry through on his election promises to African-American voters to implement anti-lynching legislation and to promote black cases; to the great horror of civil rights activists across the country, Wilson repudiated his promises, and federal discrimination actually increased during his presidency. It was the first parade of its kind in New York and the second public civil rights demonstration of African-Americans.
The paraders assembled at Fifty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue and marched thirty-six blocks downtown to Madison Square Park. They were led by about 800 children, some no older than six, dressed entirely in white. Following the children were white-clad women, then rows of men dressed in black. The marchers walked wordlessly to the sound of muffled drumbeats. Despite their silence, their concerns were articulated on neatly stenciled banners and signs.
The banners and signs read: “MOTHER, DO LYNCHERS GO TO HEAVEN?; “GIVE ME A CHANCE TO LIVE”; “TREAT US SO THAT WE MAY LOVE OUR COUNTRY”; “MR. PRESIDENT, WHY NOT MAKE AMERICA SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY?; AND “YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD.”
Source — http://newyorknatives.com/black-new-yorkers-rose-up-on-this-day-in-nycs-history/
S0urce — http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2013/02/28/snippet-from-history-2-the-negro-silent-protest-of-1917/
Source — Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance: K-Y
There’s still so much about the history of Africans in America we still don’t know!
Thanks to the evolution of the INTERNET “WE” can further explore and UNCOVER some TRUTH about “OUR LOST HERITAGE” and all other truths that have been ALTERED.
Thank you for this article. Our children do not know their history…. They don’t know what a rich, talented people we are, gifted in all things, peaceable people who are welcoming and warm, then came and what is still going on today. Nothing new under the sun….
what a great article very interesting
Thank you for putting a spotlight on African American history. For some reason this was not covered in my history class.