After several months of unpredictable weather the time of year that we live for in Chicago is finally here! For me and my team, summer means its game time to execute our hard work and planning for the Bud Billiken parade and Back to School Family Fair. On August 10, 2019 we will be celebrating the 90th anniversary and 4 generations of families who have made Bud Billiken a tradition every year. I am proud to be the 4th generation of the Sengstacke family to produce Bud Billiken, the largest African American Parade in the world.
The African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” became our mantra as we planned the parade, Back to School fair, scholarship gala and the Royal Court coronation, phew! It’s a lot but as I always say, if I won the lottery I would still continue to do what I do because I am living in my purpose. I have a chance to be a part of an organization whose mission involves giving back to so many underrepresented children and families in our community. For many years we would feed thousands of families in Washington Park after the parade. We have evolved since that time from picnic to Back to School fair and our theme for the after parade activities in Washington park this year is fittingly themed, “ It Takes a Village, Family Fair.”
This is also the 70th Coronation of the Royal Court of the Bud Billiken Parade on Sunday, August 4, 2019. The Royal Court consists of 6 children from ages 10 to 12 that won our annual essay contest. They will lead the parade on the Royal float celebrating the yearly tradition of “Presiding over the World as it Ought to Be.”
Speaking of tradition, save the date and join us at the annual Scholarship Gala, at the Parkway Ballroom, July 25, 2019. We will celebrate 10 hard-working and deserving students as we help them prepare for college. The children in our community are witnessing the power of our village as we lift each other from generation to generation. We are so thankful to be part of a community that continues to be resilient in the face of adversity. To see our community come together in such a way is truly a remarkable force!
In this issue we highlight the many festivals and Black music that make Chicago the place to be every summer. While you are at these festivals look for Bronzeville Life, we will be there celebrating our beautiful people and the music that has carried us through unbelievable pain and indescribable joy throughout our collective journey. I continue to be humbled by and grateful for the love, strength, tenacity and persistence of our village.
Have a beautiful summer!
“Bronze is the new Black.”