On July 28, 1917, around 10,000 African Americans marched in silence in the summer heat of New York City, the steady beat of drums accompanying their footsteps. Earlier that month, thousands of white men in East St. Louis, Illinois, accusing migrant black men of stealing their jobs, attacked hundreds of black people and killed at least 40. The East St. Louis Riots sparked the Silent Parade in New York, spearheaded by James Weldon Johnson and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which stood in protest to the lynching and violence done against black people around the country.
One hundred years later, the cultural equity initiative Kindred Arts is organizing the People’s Silent Protest Art Walk in honor of the 1917 event and in light of the myriad communities that President Trump’s administration has “insulted, demonized, and threatened.” Taking place this Friday, July 28, the protest will similarly use the weight of silence rather than the force of chants to communicate its demand for social justice. A drummer will likewise guide the pace of the march, which starts at Bryant Park and culminates at Columbus Circle. Participants are encouraged to dress in all white and raise posters designed by Emory Douglas, Dream Hampton, Jamal Joseph, and JR, among others.
Anyone is welcome to join in at any point, but those who wish to participate in the organized restaging of the event should sign up here.
When: Friday, July 28, 5–7pm
Where: Meet at Bryant Park (Midtown West, Manhattan)
More info here.