Harlem Shakes in Celebration of the African American Parade

16 Sep
Band leader in charge

Band leader in charge

     Parade revelers were lining up on the sun filled Sunday afternoon on Adam Clayton Blvd. waiting to see the start of the largest African American parade in the country. Marching bands and organizations from over 12 states walked past the shadow of the world famous Apollo Theater with pride, dignity and respect for each other.  The 44th annual celebration of African American heritage and culture began differently from previous years as the usual marching band from Cheney University was absent. No worries though as the Camden HS Marching Band made up for it and played loud and proud. Parade organizers and local politicians including Congressman Charles Rangel and former mayoral candidate Bill Thompson waved to the crowd to get things started for a fun filled day.  This year the women’s organizations came out strong to support women owned businesses and  educational organizations supporting higher education. Every year large photos of the heroes of the community are carried as a reminder of the sacrifices that were made long ago to advance the cause of justice and freedom for today.  Soon after came a group calling for a boycott of Florida and justice for the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.

Charles Rangel

Charles Rangel

Heroes

Heroes

Proudly waving the African flag

Proudly waving the African flag

A different take to the parade this year were the Buffalo Soldiers riding in on their stylized cycles. The crowd woke up some  especially when some hit the throttle and made some thunderous noise. Guess it was a nice introduction for what was to follow when the first of several marching bands came down the parade route shaking things up.  The Baltimore Entertainers got things under way with their heavy thumping drum beat. They were warming things up for the Baltimore Go Getters as they showed off their dance moves but wait it keeps getting better.  As the New Baltimore Twilighters were making their way up the parade route one of the dancers spotted Mickey Mouse trying to steal their thunder and hopped over the fence to show him how shake it in Harlem.  A smaller group called The Band had a really high energy show for the crowd. The band that got the most praise from the crowd though had to be the Baltimore Westsiders. They really tore it up. Not to be outdone was the colorful and high energy band of Mass Destruction. Closing out the proud display of high stepping bands were the New Edition. I think the had the best drum corp of all.  As a tradition the parade closed out with black cowboys and their beautiful horses. A nice treat for any city kid from 4 to 94. This parade lived up to the hype. Great job all.

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One Response to “Harlem Shakes in Celebration of the African American Parade”

  1. Officer, George P. Everette September 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Thank you for wonderful pictures of our band Citywide Goldstarz Marching Band. My drum major Sonya Moss is featured at the top of the page. We are one of many small bands from Baltimore worked really hard to raise money for equipment, uniforms, transportation, and lodging to make it to the parade. To learn more about our band, please log on to YouTube under: “Citywide Goldstarz call to action plea”.

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