August 9, 2008
BUD BILLIKEN DAY!
Today's BUD BILLIKEN DAY PARADE is dedicated to our hometown comedian Bernie Mac 1957 - 2008 ~
The first Bud Billiken® Parade and Picnic was held August 11, 1929. It was the vision of Robert S. Abbott. Robert S. Abbott's parents were slaves, yet he went on to attend Kent College Of Law and founded the legendary Chicago Defender in 1905.
In 1929, Mr. Abbott decided the best way to show appreciation for the young distributors of his paper, many who were impoverished Chicago youth, was to hold a day...a parade where they could be celebrated and dress up and be revered!
87 years later it remains a staple, running down the same avenue, bringing joy to the same black faces on the second Saturday of August.
Bernie Mac, whom we lost today, was a familiar face at the parade. He was always a source of pride for us here in Chicago. What fun it was having a Hollywood premiere (Ocean's 13 Movie).
I spent many loud boisterous nights back in the late 80's hanging in front of the Cotton Club, watching the players come and go...never knowing where we would all end up, but really having fun, listening to all of the raw comedy. Bernie Mac will be missed.