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Walking Raddy – The Baby Dolls of New Orleans - University Press of Mississippi
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Walking Raddy: The Baby Dolls of New Orleans

Kim Vaz-Deville


Since 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 ... More

Keywords: Jim Crow, Self-expression, Gender role, Public space, Performance

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781496817396
Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496817396.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kim Vaz-Deville, editor
Xavier University of Louisiana

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“True Doll Stories”

—Kim Vaz-Deville

Claiming Their Own Mardi Gras

Fighting for Freedom

—Jessica Marie Johnson

Geographies of Pain, Geographies of Pleasure

—LaKisha Michelle Simmons

Protectors of the Inheritance

—Violet Harrington Bryan

Black Women and Carnival Performance Traditionsand

Women Maskers

—Pamela R. Franco

Memoirs and Musings

Dancing Women of New Orleans

—DeriAnne Meilleur Honora


—Rachel Carrico

Sass and Circumstance

—Daniele Gair

Visual Artists Respond to the New Orleans Baby Dollsto the