An image from dancers in the Bud Billiken Parade is projected onto the Merchandise Mart. (WTTW News)

The Bud Billiken Parade is taking over a prominent downtown building in a projection film titled “Billiken.” It features dancers from the Bringing Out Talent Dance Company.

(A screenshot from

It’s the end of an era for the iconic black-owned newspaper that has told the stories of black America since 1905. Is there a future for The Defender – and black media in general – in this time of shrinking newsrooms?

Miss Wonderful 1958 contestants (Courtesy of Ernestine Terry)

In the late 1950s, the Chicago Defender and Pabst Brewing Company sponsored the Miss Wonderful 1958, an all African-American beauty contest. Meet Ernestine Terry, who was one of the contestants.

Ethan Michaeli (Jason Reblando)

Founded in 1905, the Chicago Defender gave a voice to black Americans during the Jim Crow era and helped along the careers of politicians from JFK to Richard J. Daley. Former Defender editor and reporter Ethan Michaeli spent years conducting research and interviews for his extensive new history book.

Ethel Payne

Chicago's own Ethel Payne was the third African-American to ever receive White House press credentials–and she was only the second black woman to do so. We talk with the author of a biography about the importance of her legacy.

The Chicago Defender was founded in 1905, and at one point was the nation's most influential black weekly newspaper. We hear from the new editor and publisher about future plans for the publication.