The Bud Billiken Day Parade And Picnic Among Chicago's Black Community, 1929-2000
MetadataShow full item record
Type of WorkText
DepartmentHistory and Geography
ProgramMaster of Arts
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
African American history
African American studies
The Bud Billiken Day Parade and Picnic was launched on August 11, 1929, by Robert S. Abbott, the founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper, as a token of appreciation for young carriers of the newspaper who contributed to the paper's success. This parade would become an annual event celebrated with much fun and served as a symbol of racial identity, racial pride and empowerment for Chicago's black community. The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic established a tradition that highlighted underprivileged youth, promoted education, provided entertainment, encouraged family togetherness, and served as a symbol of accomplishment for Chicago's African American community. This study analyzes the history of the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic and its impact on the African American community in Chicago from 1929-2000. Sources include newspaper coverage, oral interviews, books, and essays. The study offers an examination of the parade's founding, its evolution through the major periods of change in the United States and the African American community, and how the parade affected African Americans in Chicago during the period under review. The study finds that the parade became an integral part of Chicago's black community, served as a tool for addressing social ills within the community, and consistently adhered to its tradition of promoting unity and empowerment among Chicago's black community.