The Defender Loves A Parade p.92

By: MARK FITZGERALD EVERY AUGUST, CHICAGO flocks to one of the most successful and unusual newspaper promotions in America: The Bud Billiken parade and picnic.
Sponsored by Chicago Defender Charities Inc., the family-oriented event marking the end of the summer vacation and the return to school draws upward of 1 million spectators depending on the weather.
Politicians, celebrities and corporations all enter floats in the parade, but Bud Billiken day ? Aug. 9 this year ? remains a celebration of children and education.
It also is a yearly reminder of the important role the Chicago Defender has played, and still plays, in the city's African-American community. The Defender is one of the few remaining black-interest dailies in America.
Created nearly 70 years ago by a Defender editor, Bud Billiken is a fictional character who protects African-American children. The character has become such a valuable symbol to the Defender's charitable arm that any time the name is published in the newspaper, it is followed by registration mark.
Bud Billiken is increasingly becoming a year-round vehicle for the Defender. Recently, for instance, the Defender and the Chicago Public Schools created Bud Billiken News, a monthly four-page that runs in the tabloid newspaper each month. Articles are written by public high school students, mostly about educational issues.
The most recent issue, on April 19, included a front-page debate on the topic "Tupac [Shakur]: Hero or thug?" written by two Taft High School students, Brett Nishibayahsi [taking the "hero" position] and Donnell Spencer [arguing for the "thug" position].
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?copyright Editor & Publisher- April 26, 1997.


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