Chance the Rapper will act as the grand marshal of Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in August. The Bud parade has been described as the, “longest, largest, and blackest parade in the world.”
The parade runs down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the South Side of the city and lasts for 3 hours.
Beverly Reed-Scott served as program manager for the parade for 15 years and said,” In light of all the drama, violence and loss of morale by our youth, Bud Billiken Parade Coordinator Chez Smith decided we needed a different kind of heavy hitter. Another true hometown hero someone who represented creativity, community service, values and could delight all the elements of the community. She reached out to his team and Chance the Rapper immediately agreed to serve as grand marshal.”
Chance the Rapper will lead the parade and has said on Instagram that, “Me and my friends are gonna pull up.” Chance has anointed the queen and king of the parade already.
Celebrities like Oprah, President Obama, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali have all come to the Bud Billiken Parade in the past.
Chance the Rapper is being counted on to breathe new life into the parade, which is 88 years old. Bud Billiken was the fictional name of the owner of the Chicago Defender newspaper, Robert S. Abbott, who encouraged black people to move from the southern states to the northern states. The newspaper set out to encourage the families who had just moved to Chicago and were having a hard time dealing with the racism of the city.
The Bud Billiken parade is meant to be a positive event, showcasing the positivity that African Americans can create when thousands of them get together.