The 43rd Annual African-American Day Parade was held this past Sunday in Harlem and I along with several of my well educated, culturally savvy African-American co-workers had no idea there was a parade in honor of African-Americans, or that it had been going on for 43 years.
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While in the morning News One meeting, my fellow staffers embarrassingly raised their eyebrows and scratched their heads about not knowing of the event organizers say is the largest black parade in America. Maybe we’re the only people in the country who were unaware of the parade, but according to the site, about 900,000 people attended last year.
As a bonafide Queens gal, this was the first time I’d ever heard of the parade that’s had Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Johnnie Cochran and Shirley Chisholm as some of its Grand Marshalls.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and former New York City Mayor, David Dinkins were this year’s Grand Marshall for the parade that started on 111th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd and ended at 136th Street.
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Maybe poor marketing is to blame, or it being a “Harlem thing.” But the more we discussed our ignorance to not having ever heard of the parade, the more we wondered about the lack of “identity” on several fronts as African-Americans and how that could be the blame.