Toya Wright and her adult daughter, Reginae Carter, like many thousands of people, recently flew to New Orleans in late February for the biggest party of the year — Mardi Gras.
Many descended in the city for fun, music, great food like king cakes, plastic beads parades, and lots of costumes.
Toya and Reginae shared several photos where they are wearing black paint on their faces — which is a traditional costume for Zulu.
A few people, who were offended, took to social to share their thoughts and ask questions.
One person asked: “Ummmmmm seems a lot like blackface to me. Or is it just me ????”
Might or might not a be a Nola thing, but it sure does look insensitive and offensive to the actual African community… ”
A defender of Lil Wayne’s ladies said: “No, it’s not. If you don’t understand Mardi Gras culture, you won’t get it.”
Another critic stated: “Which Zulu is this one, though? Like they mean the South African Zulu tribe? Because that tribe does not wear any of the things that these women are wearing. What is happening here????
Somehow I feel offended, but I do understand the tradition.😕”
This person explained: “A traditional costume for Zulu. In short…the Zulu, riders painted their faces this way to mock white people who mocked them with blackface.”
She added: “The costumes, Banks explained, pay homage to the Zulu people of southern Africa, who in the late 19th century drove out British colonists “with sticks and spears.” Inspired by a 1909 theater skit about the Zulus, the group’s earliest members donned their notion of tribal garb and, too poor to afford masks, mimicked Zulu war paint to comply with city rules that Carnival parade participants hide their identities.”
She concluded her explanation by saying: “It is a tradition that they’ve been doing for Mardi Gras for decades now. So how would they be mocking the culture if that’s apart of their N.O culture? Yall don’t have to be sensitive over everything.🙄”
This fan revealed: “But nonetheless. Yall are present thing two issues: Zulu and blackface. The black makeup is used as a mask because per city ordinance, and your face has to be covered. They chose to paint instead of an actual mask to hide there identity. As far as the Zulu tribe, no one from New Orleans cares about with South Africans think, are least I don’t. It’s the club’s theme like many other symbols ppl complain about. Everyone will not agree. The problem is people think every issue is their issue. It’s not. Happy Mardi Gras. 💛💚💜”
Toya and Reginae did not address the matter.