Organizer says unlike 1917 march against Woodrow Wilson’s civil rights failures, this had no demands but adds: ‘I don’t know that we’re in such a different space’

On a July day in 1917, in the face of a presidential administration seen as taking regressive steps on civil rights, nearly 10,000 black Americans walked down Fifth Avenue in New York. Wearing uniform clothing and carrying signs, demanding federal action over the lynchings of black men, they marched in total silence.

A century later, also clad in white, a much smaller group assembled outside Bryant Park on Friday. They were there to commemorate the occasion in a world, attendees said, that did not feel altogether changed.

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