SOURCE: New York Times Magazine
New Orleans's famed Krewe of Zulu celebrated Mardi Gras as federal and state health officials proclaimed low risk for Coronavirus. In two months, 30 members would have COVID-19 and eight would be dead, illustrating dire and longstanding racial disparities in health in America.
New Orleans Cultural Historian Died of Coronavirus, But His Family Only Found Out on the Day of Funeral
"I want to educate the world about our great culture," Ron Lewis wrote on the museum's website. "How we do this, and why we are so successful at it even though the economics say we ain't supposed to be."
NEW ORLEANS — The “baby dolls,” an on-again, off-again Mardi Gras tradition of New Orleans’ African-American community, are on again.The troupes of women strutting and prancing in bonnets, garters, and skimpy or short, ruffled dresses on Fat Tuesday also are being spotlighted in a new book and museum exhibit that trace their history and modern rebirth.When the predominantly African-American Zulu krewe hits the streets on Fat Tuesday — Feb. 12 — its marchers will include the Baby Doll Ladies, a troupe formed after Hurricane Katrina. They play tambourines and cowbells to accompany their dance, a hip-hop style called bounce.Though Mardi Gras celebrations date from the city’s French founding in 1718, historians say the baby doll tradition started in 1912 when black prostitutes who worked just outside the legal red-light district called Storyville dressed up on Mardi Gras to outdo their legal rivals....
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