Bud Billiken Celebrates 94 Years

Mayor Brandon Johnson and his wife Stacie capture a moment at the Bud Billiken Parade with the Royal Court, which includes True Star’s own Jael Green (2nd Left), and the Grand Marshall for the day, Grammy-winning poet J. Ivy.

On Saturday, August 12th, the Annual Bud Billiken Parade took place in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Prior to the parade a breakfast was open to volunteers, family members of the royal court, special guests, and more. Breakfast gave attendants the opportunity to enjoy appetizers while socializing as speeches commenced and awards were given. This year Reverend Jesse Jackson was honored for his work in the community and his support for the parade. True Star’s own Jael Green was the Crown Princess of the Royal Court.

Rev. Jesse Jackson (seated) was honored for his work in the community and his support for the Bud Billiken Parade.

The Bud Billiken Parade was founded by Robert Sengstake Abbott 94 years ago. The Bud Billiken Parade’s mission is to “celebrate African-American culture while connecting the community to resources that promote education and empowerment.” The duties have since been passed on to the fourth generation niece, Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, Publisher/CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Bronzeville Life. Sengstacke-Rice was also honored at the breakfast for her dedication and hard work to the parade.

Chicago Football Classic Truck

The parade started promptly after the breakfast. People lined up from Oakwood Boulevard to Washington Park to witness the Black parade of the year. This year I had the opportunity to walk alongside the Chicago Football Classic truck. It was exceptional. I have attended this parade my whole life, but I never had the chance to participate in the parade. Watching the entertainment up close and experiencing the energy at the root of the parade was amazing.

Aderin Oshuntuyi, a Whitney Young sophomore, loves to attend the Bud Billiken Parade. “Attending the Bud Billiken Parade is something I always look forward to during the summer. I really enjoy watching all of the talented performers and experiencing our beautiful Black culture.”

The 94th Annual Bud Billiken Parade definitely lived up to my past expectations. I can’t wait to see what parade will do for their 95th year!


By Amariyah Mallory, Whitney Young, Sophomore

Instagram: Dancemari_


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Written by Amariyah Mallory

Amariyah Mallory is a life long learner who's passionate about dance, committed to social justice and service, invested in African America culture and current events, and devoted to writing. 

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