Thursday, Mar 12, 2020 12 AM

FOC Lecture Series – Walking Raddy

FOC Lecture Series – Walking Raddy The New Orleans Jazz Museum At The Old U.S. MintGreater New OrleansNew OrleansEvent Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020Since 2004, the Baby Doll Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans has gone from an obscure, almost forgotten practice to a flourishing cultural force. The original Baby Dolls were groups of black women, and some men, in the early Jim Crow era who adopted New Orleans street masking tradition as a unique form of fun and self-expression against a backdrop of racial discrimination. Wearing short dresses,bloomers, bonnets, and garters with money tucked tight, they strutted, sang ribald songs, chanted, and danced on Mardi Gras Day and on St. Joseph feast night. Today's Baby Dolls continue the tradition of one of thefirst street women's masking and marching groups in the United States. They joyfully and unabashedly defy gender roles, claiming public space and proclaiming through their performance their right to social citizenship.Essayists draw on interviews, theoretical perspectives, archival material,and historical assessments to describe women's cultural performances thattake place on the streets of New Orleans. They recount the history and contemporary resurgence of the Baby Dolls while delving into the larger cultural meaning of the phenomenon. Over 140 color photographs and personal narratives of immersive experiences provide passionate testimony of the impact of the Baby Dolls on their audiences. Fifteen artists offer statementsregarding their work documenting and inspired by the tradition as it stimulates their imagination to present a practice that revitalizes the spirit.Kim Vaz-Deville, New Orleans, Louisiana, is professor of education andassociate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University ofLouisiana. Her book The 'Baby Dolls': Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition was the basis for the LouisianaState Museum's installation 'They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition' and the Young Leadership Council's 2016 One Book One New Orleans selection.Second Thursday Lecture with Dr. Kim Vaz-DevilleMarch 12th, 6 PMAdmission is free and open to the publicFor more information, contact 504.523.3939