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Statement on 100th Anniversary of Silent Protest Parade

Friday, July 28, 2017


Michelle C. Whittaker, Director of Communications
mwhittaker@democracyinitiative.org 202-567-6103

July 28, 2017

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Silent Protest Parade in New York City led by the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights groups.  In 1917, nearly ten thousand men, women, and children marched silently down 5th Avenue to the muffled sounds of drums to highlight the violent discrimination against African Americans happening across the United States.

The following is a statement on the anniversary by Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative, a coalition of 59 partner groups representing 30 million members nationwide:

One hundred years ago today, brothers and sisters in the fight for racial equality and justice spoke truth through their silence. When armed white mobs terrorized African American neighborhoods – in some cases reducing them to ashes – these brave men, women, and children showed the hypocrisy of people who promote democracy with one hand while shutting out participation by racial minorities with the other.

This day is a reminder that the fight for full participation in the United States is not over. As POTUS uses the voter commission to shrink the power of the American people by attempting to purge millions of eligible voters, we stand united to advance a vision of democracy where all eligible voters are registered and all votes are counted.


The Democracy Initiative is a dynamic network of organizations working for a responsive, reflective, and inclusive democracy where all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process.