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Photo Info

Dimensions6748 x 10121
Original file size9.1 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB


My recollection of the 1975 Bud Billiken Parade has been one of great joy and gratitude due to the faces in the crowd and my photography instructor at UIC by the name of Robert Steigler who told us to meet up and photography the parade as street photographers for our documentary photography class. I was 20 years old and used a Kodak Retina 111C that my father purchased in a pawn shop. The inconspicuous nature of this camera which is small but mighty puts the subject at ease. It looks more like a point and shoot camera but acts more like a Leica. Take you time to look at each photo which is a depiction of a time and place in our city’s history. The Bud Billiken Parade will continue giving the Southside residents a fun day to reflect upon when school starts the day after Labor Day. The annual Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic as been held on the second Saturday in August since 1929 in Chicago, Illinois and is the largest African-American parade in the United States. The parade route travels on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive through the Bronzeville and Washington Park neighborhoods on the city's south side. At the end of the parade a picnic takes place in historic Washington public park. Robert S. Abbott, the founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, created the fictional character of Bud Billiken which he featured in a youth advice column in his paper. David Kellum, co-founder of the Bud Billiken Club and longtime parade coordinator suggested the parade as a celebration of African-American life. Since its beginning, the parade has featured celebrities, politicians, businessmen, civic organizations and high school marching bands. The parade is also cited as the "back-to-school" celebration, marking the end of summer vacation and resuming of school for Chicago's youth.