Guiding Question: To what extent did Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice become a reality for African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century?
- I can interpret primary sources related to Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice in the first half of the twentieth century.
- I can explain how laws and policy, courts, and individuals and groups contributed to or pushed back against the quest for liberty, equality, and justice for African Americans.
- I can create an argument using evidence from primary sources.
- I can analyze issues in history to help find solutions to present-day challenges.
In the summer of 1917, local NAACP, church, and community leaders organized a silent march down Fifth Avenue in New York City to protest violence against Black Americans. Approximately 10,000 African Americans participated in the protest despite the searing July heat. Drums led the procession, followed by NAACP officers. Children and women dressed in white followed, and lastly men dressed in black. All carried banners denouncing segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement, lynching, prejudice, and racism.
Images of the Silent Parade, July 28, 1917
Silent Parade by Unknown Artist, 1917
Comprehension and Analysis Questions
- Why do you think the march was silent?
- Why do you think the march was led by children in white? What statement would this make?
- In the second image, the men in the right foreground carry a banner that reads:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. If of African descent, tear off this corner.
What is the intended message of this banner?
More from this Category
Protest and Calling for Change: Images of the Silent Parade | BRIdge from the Past
What was the “Silent Parade”? In this episode of BRIdge from the Past, Mary examines images of a 1917 silent march down Fifth Avenue in New York City to understand why 10,000 African Americans participated. What events precipitated this march? How do these images compare with those of other historical events or protests where Americans have called for change?