Zulu: Face paint is culture, not black face

Zulu: Face paint is culture, not black face
Members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club second line toward the Algiers Courthouse for the raising of the Zulu flag. (Photo by Brett Duke, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (Source: NOLA.com)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club has set the record straight when it comes to their member’s black makeup.

In a statement released by the club, they say they are offended by recent photographs showing high-profile leaders dressed in “blackface.”

They explain the distinction between black face and their makeup, saying blackface is meant to ridicule and mock black people.

According to the statement, Zulu stands to honor it’s African ancestry and the continent’s most fierce warriors with their black makeup.

“Zulu parade costumes bear no resemblance to the costumes worn by “blackface” minstrel performers at the turn of the century. Zulu parade costumes more closely resemble and are designed to honor garments worn by South African Zulu warriors. Most importantly, the history of Zulu makes it abundantly clear that nothing about the organization, including the black makeup, was never intended to insult or degrade African-Americans. To the contrary, Zulu has always been about celebrating African and African-American culture, strength, and pride,” the statement read.

Zulu is the first parade to roll on Mardi Gras on the Uptown route.

To learn more about Zulu’s history, click here.

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