Is The Mardi Gras “Zulu Tradition” Racist?

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mardi gras zuluBy Dr. Sinclair Grey III

Are we at a point in time whereby traditions should be abolished? Here’s something to think about – whenever traditions seem to be ‘pro-black’, do we risk offending other races and/or nationalities?

An example of this would be Mardi Gras. Let me pose another question to you. With so many people marching down the streets dressed in blackface and throwing coconuts, is that good? Is it okay for African-Americans to do it or what would happen if whites would do it?

Mardi Gras is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, the day before lent begins in the Christian church. It is usually held in New Orleans, Louisiana and is attended by thousands every year. With so many misconceptions about Marci Gras, click here to learn more about its conception and history.

Here’s something you should know about Mardi Gras. “The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club is the largest predominantly African-American Krewe in New Orleans. The origin of the Zulus dates back to the early 1900s when the Mardi Gras celebrations themselves were segregated.”

Famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong was chosen to be the Zulu King in 1949. Many blacks tried to dissuade Armstrong from this, but he considered it an honor and even mentioned that this was something he wanted to do since he was little boy growing up in New Orleans.

“When the black consciousness movement radicalized  thoughts and opinions on race in the 1960s, some demonstrated against the Zulus and their numbers dwindled to near extinction. It took a concerted effort to desegregate the Mardi Gras parade in 1968 that led to the krewe’s resurgence. But by that time, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club had become more that a group gearing up to march in the Mardi Gras Parade.”

There is so much to learn about Mardi Gras and its traditions and rituals. One thing for sure, an individual with an open mind will gain much information that’s available.

Source: theGrio and History.com

Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, published author of (5) books, life coach, and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for change. Email: drgrey@sinclairgrey.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey. Visit his website: www.sinclairgrey.org