Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade, a demonstration where close to 10,000 people silently marched in protest of racism in New York City.
According to TIME, on July 28, 2017, the demonstrators—led by the NAACP—moved from Fifth Avenue to Madison Square. The event was one of America’s first mass protests of lynchings and other forms of violence against Blacks.
Protesters carried banners with slogans that read, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” and “Your Hands Are Full of Blood.” They demanded that then-President Woodrow Wilson take legal action to protect the civil rights of African-Americans. During his presidential campaign, Wilson addressed that he would take such measures.
— NAACP (@NAACP) July 28, 2017
“Today’s Doodle commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade, and honors those whose silence resonates a century later,” a statement by Google explains. “Although the demonstrators marched in silence, their message was very clear. One sign read, ‘Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy’— a challenge at a time where the President was promising to bring democracy to the world through World War I while Black Americans were being stripped of their civil rights at home.”