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Let Us March On!: James Weldon Johnson and the Silent Protest Parade

Author/Illustrator: Yohuru Williams | Michael G Long | Xia Gordon
Ages 3-6 and Ages 6-9
Published May 28, 2024
$ 1899 USD



A moving and inspiring nonfiction picture book about James Weldon Johnson and the first mass all-Black march for civil rights in the United States when 10,000 Black protestors, including children, marched down New York’s Fifth Avenue.

James Weldon Johnson was a man of words. He wrote “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a poem so uplifting and inspiring it became known as the Black national anthem. James was also a leader of the NAACP, and many people turned to him for advice in troubling times. And then was one of those times. White people were hurting Black people in scary and shocking ways.

“Let us march,” James said, “in New York City.” A big protest on the biggest avenue in the biggest city in the country. “And,” he said, “let’s make it a silent march.” Because sometimes silence can be more powerful than screaming and shouting.

In July 1917, James helped lead thousands of children and adults in the Silent Protest Parade as they marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City. Today, the parade stands as an inspiring reminder of the power of protest in all forms, and the power and resilience of young people in the face of ongoing racial hatred and violence.

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