ABC 7 CHICAGO PRESENTS BUD BILLIKEN
Hour-Long Special Features Memorable Highlights, New Performances and Celebrity Shout-Outs from Common, Chance and Mayor Lori Lightfoot
7/29/2020, noon | Updated on 7/29/2020, noon
ABC 7 CHICAGO PRESENTS BUD BILLIKEN: CELEBRATING 91 YEARS, HOSTED BY CHERYL BURTON, JIM ROSE AND HOSEA SANDERS, SATURDAY, AUGUST 8 AT 1 PM AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 AT 4 PM
ABC 7 Chicago and the Chicago Defender Charities have partnered for decades to present Chicago’s “back to school” summer tradition, The Bud Billiken Parade®. Although the largest African American Parade in the country has been postponed this year, ABC 7 is capturing the spirit with an hour special, BUD BILLIKEN: CELEBRATING 91 YEARS. Cheryl Burton, Jim Rose and Hosea Sanders, who have been part of ABC 7’s Bud Billiken tradition in the broadcast booth since 2003, will host the special, with Terrell Brown and Karen Jordan also contributing. The special will spotlight greatest moments from past parades, performances by the Jesse White Tumblers and South Shore Drill team, celebrity shout outs including Common, Chance and Mayor Lightfoot, and dazzling new performances. BUD BILLIKEN: CELEBRATING 91 YEARS will air twice, Saturday, August 8 at 1 PM and Sunday, August 16 at 4 PM and will also be exclusively streamed live on abc7chicago.com and ABC 7’s connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.
ABC 7 President and General Manager, John Idler said, “The rich legacy of the Bud Billiken Parade is a story that needs to be passed on even when faced with the challenges of a pandemic. Together with the Chicago Defender Charities, our ABC 7’s Bud Billiken special celebrates 91 years of a longstanding summer tradition spanning generations and continuing to celebrate the importance of education.”
According to Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, President and CEO, Chicago Defender Charities, “Even though we will miss the anticipation and excitement that comes when the Bud Billiken Parade marches down the streets of Chicago, we are steadfast in our goal to support education and the performing arts. We are grateful to ABC 7 for making sure that the fun, tradition and spirit of our beloved parade will be carried on through this hour-long special broadcast.”
The backdrop for BUD BILLIKEN: CELEBRATING 91 YEARS will be at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Englewood, Cheryl Burton’s alma mater, where ‘blast from the past’ photos of Cheryl’s high school days will be a highlight.
Cameras were rolling to catch the fancy footwork of dance teams competing in the “Bringing out the Talent Summer Bling, ” a dance team competition founded by Shkunna McGee Stewart. Shkunna continues the family dance legacy of her mother and grandmother, both of whom led their own dance teams through the years. All three family members share their stories.
A powerful musical video to promote racial justice will be debuted.
Also featured is the fascinating history of the Bud Billiken parade. In 1905, Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded the Chicago Defender Newspaper, helping to inspire the great African-American migration from the South to Chicago. In gratitude for those who delivered his newspaper, Robert Sengstacke Abbott started a makeshift parade along with a band that included the legendary Lionel Hampton and Nat King Cole – the Bud Billiken Parade was on its way to becoming a cherished tradition for generations of Chicagoans.