Celica Vasquez is a Chicago activist.
The Bud Billiken parade, this city’s biggest parade and the largest gathering of African Americans in the country, has been held every year since 1929. It was started by the late Robert S. Abbott, founding publisher of the Chicago Defender newspaper, as a tribute to youth and the struggle against racism.
The 2003 parade on Aug. 9 featured hundreds of floats, marching bands, baton-twirlers, elected officials, and an enthusiastic audience of over one million people on Chicago’s south side.
Carolyn Black was among them. Black, a member of the Illinois bureau of the People’s Weekly World, was helping staff a table sponsored by the PWW, the Communist Party of Illinois, and the Young Communist League.
YCL members helped distribute the newspaper, too. Celica Vasquez said that she was encouraged by seeing “a lot of people working together.” Megan Marshall commented, “This is where the youth can have fun.” Brandi and Neil also worked hard to get the papers into the hands of the crowd.