The Largest Black Parade in America No One is Talking About

by Shamecca Harris

How do you ignore a parade of tens of thousands of people in the heart of New York City?  Just like this.

Sunday (Sept. 21) marked the 45th annual African American Day parade in Central Harlem and while tens of thousands of local Harlem residents, city politicians and folks who just appreciate a good ole parade showed up for afternoon festivities, very little fuss has been made over the event in local and national news coverage.

Granted, the lack of media interest in the “largest Black parade in America,” is largely attributed to its ill fate of falling on the same day, in the same city and at roughly the same hour as the People’s Climate March -- a two-mile march through midtown Manhattan drawing a robust crowd of roughly 400,000 climate activists. Still, one has to wonder, at a moment where the conditions of being black in America is perhaps the most pressing political issue of our time, why such an event would not receive the same attention as the People’s Climate March or even other multi-cultural celebrations of its kind.

Yet, despite the lack of media presence at the parade, attendees insisted that the rally just up the road did not overshadow the day’s events with many admitting they hadn’t even heard of the People’s Climate March.

“This is New York,” Chris Waters, 40, told the Columbia Spectator, “They have multiple things going on at the same time.”

“We came here to return and celebrate our African pride,” he added. “It’s fantastic. It’s like a big, huge collaboration.”

And that it was. From a procession of Black firefighters and public officials to Black superheroes and high school marching bands, the African American Parade was, as its always been, a vibrant and musical display of Black Pride and community.

But, we didn’t need a news crew to tell you that.

Find out more about the African American Day Parade at

Photo Credit: Millie Christie for Spectator

Shamecca Harris is New York based writer and lifestyle journalist with a particular interest in style and entertainment. She has a BA in English from Georgetown University and has written for both print and online publications including XXL Magazine, Global Grind, and The Huffington Post. For updates and tidbits on all things Shamecca, catch her on Twitter or Facebook as @shamexa.