Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

August 15, 1966

On August 15, 1966, the Chicago Defender’s front page featured photos from the city’s Bud Billiken parade, including this one with James Brown and Muhammad Ali riding in the back of a convertible. Defender founder Robert Sengstacke Abbott started the Bud Billiken parade in 1929. In his history of the Defender, Ethan Michaeli writes that “Abbott had devised the parade to give African American children a sense of pride and dignity” and that for decades the Billiken Parade “had attracted black America’s great celebrities and athletes.” Michaeli also notes that the parade was also an important stop for politicians: “Elected officials and those seeking office from across the nation, white and black, Democrats and Republicans, knew that the parade was a necessary campaign stop, a singular opportunity to make a pitch for Chicago’s all-important black vote.”109

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