Friday, February 13, 2009

Zulu: a lard can for a crown, a hambone for a scepter, grass skirts and blackface

"The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, one of the earliest and still the most prominent of the African-American social clubs, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year," says writer Wayne Curtis in the NY Times .

The occasion is being celebrated with a 3,000-square-foot exhibit, “From Tramps to Kings: 100 Years of Zulu,” at the Louisiana State Museum, on Jackson Square in the French Quarter. The yearlong exhibit explores Zulu origins and costuming practices and else.

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade is scheduled to roll at 8 a.m. on Mardi Gras, Feb. 24 ( The thickest crowds, including most out-of-towners, tend to cluster on lower St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street. For more local flavor, go to the first leg (Jackson Avenue, between St. Charles and Claiborne Avenues), or the last (Orleans Avenue, between Rampart and Broad Streets).

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