Mardi Gras Zulu Krewe Not Reversing Blackface Tradition

With all the recent controversy over blackface, some have wondered if New Orleans' Zulu social club will change their traditions.

Every Mardi Gras Zulu riders wear blackface for parades. It's a century old tradition.

Zulu historian Clarence Becknell says Zulu will not bow to political correctness.

He told WWLTV , “The members that started this organization, they were laborers. They couldn’t afford the masks, and they used it just to mask on Mardi Gras. That’s all it really was.”

He continued, “Both black and white, you name it. They just love to get in the parade.”

People outside of New Orleans may have a hard time understanding that the tradition is not done out of hate.

Even still, the blackfaced makeup worn during Mardi Gras continues to be a source of controversy and confusion among outsiders.


NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 28: Zulu Tramps march in the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club's 2017 Zulu Parade on February 28, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

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