Silent Parade

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Du Bois organized the 1917 Silent Parade in New York

The Silent Parade (or Silent protest) was a march of between 8,000 and 10,000 African Americans on July 28, 1917, in New York City. The purpose of the parade was to protest lynching and anti-black violence. The parade was precipitated by the East St. Louis Riots in May and July 1917, when between 40 and 250 blacks were killed by white mobs.

The Silent Parade was organized by W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP. They hoped to influence president Woodrow Wilson to carry through on his election promises to African-American voters to implement anti-lynching legislation, and promote black causes. Wilson did not do so, and repudiated his promises, and federal discrimination increased during Wilson's presidency.[1]

It was the first parade of its kind in New York, and the second instance of blacks publicly demonstrating for civil rights.[2]


  1. ^ King, William, "Silent Protest Against Lynching", in W. E. B. Du Bois: An Encyclopedia, Greenwood, p. 191.
  2. ^ David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt & Company, 2009), p. 352. The first instance was picketing against the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation.