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The 2015 Bud Billiken Parade Meets #BlackLivesMatter (Photos)

By Selena Fragassi in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 10, 2015 8:40PM

It's one of the oldest and largest African-American parades in the country, and on Saturday the Bud Billiken Parade kicked off its 86th annual celebration in Bronzeville.

The parade's message is that of promoting youth and education, bringing together 75,000 students who marched this weekend as the final send-off before the new school year begins. According to ABC7, the goal was to raise $500,000 for scholarships—an amount that has increased since the parade was originally started in 1929 by the founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper who created the fictional Bud Billiken character as a guardian for children and a symbol of pride.

Extending from Bronzeville to Washington Park, the route is captured every year on local television stations and often features celebrities, politicians and civic organizations as well as a slew of neighborhood businesses. Many businesses this year sold wares declaring that "Black Lives Matter" on the same weekend that marked the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson.

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