For the Zulu club, a black social organization in New Orleans, Mardi Gras was a joy. The coronavirus made it a tragedy.
By Linda Villarosa
Photographs by L. Kasimu Harris
- April 29, 2020
When the Kreweof Zulu parade rolled out onto Jackson Avenue to kick off Mardi Gras festivities on Feb. 25, the party started for black New Orleans. Tens of thousands of people lined the four-and-a-half-mile route, reveling in the animated succession of jazz musicians, high-stepping marching bands from historically black colleges and universities and loose-limbed dancers dressed in Zulu costumes, complete with grass skirts and blackface makeup, an homage to the Zulu people of South Africa and, for some, a satirical spit in the eye to the past, when Mardi Gras was put on by clubs of white men who barred black people from taking part.