Every third Sunday in September, a grand parade celebrating everything that is good and Black takes over the Harlem, New York City streets. It’s a pretty big deal. In fact, The African American Day Parade (AADP) has been a big deal, since its debut in 1969 when Shirley Chisholm and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. served as their first grand marshals.
On September 15, the organization will commemorate 50 years with over 200 prestigious organizations, 25 decorated floats, and three lit HBCU marching bands strutting down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Classified as a national parade, the AADP website says the celebration typically attracts around 900,000 spectators. AADP advisory board member, Kamaria Buchanan talked with Blavity about the organization’s significance.
“The parade route has always been the same, from its inception to now,” Buchanan shared. “[The street] was formerly known as Seventh Avenue, but quite a few years ago it was changed to Adam Clayton Powell Jr, Boulevard…it was once called ‘The Boulevard of Dreams.'”