Carnival Noir

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In the first book of its kind focusing on the expansive African American Mardi Gras experience in New Orleans, float designer and native New Orleanian Rene Pierre documents and explores the richness of his community’s contributions. With two generations of family photographs and a firsthand knowledge of the African American krewes, Pierre brings to light this oft-neglected aspect of the Carnival tradition. The artistry and history of the floats and costumes of these krewes stand as testament to an undercelebrated group of New Orleanians who have consistently enriched their city and its traditions. As a participant and member of the community, Pierre charts the growth and influence of the oldest black Carnival clubs in New Orleans including the Original Illinois Club, the Exclusive Twenties, the Black Pirates, and the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club. Through one-on-one interviews with krewe elders, Carnival royalty, and artisans, along with family narratives from Pierre’s childhood, Carnival Noir tells a very personal story of the black Carnival experience.
ISBN: 9781455622610
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
State: Louisiana
Images: 183
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 8 (w) x 10 (h)
Rene Pierre, born and raised in New Orleans, received a BA and a Masters in Educational Administration from Xavier University of Louisiana. After he obtained his first degree, Pierre worked as an assistant curator of exhibits for the Louisiana State Museum. There, he played a vital role in the installation of the exhibit, “Mardi Gras in Louisiana” at the Presbytere in Jackson Square. Pierre has also worked as a special events coordinator for the Contemporary Arts Center, and taught art in several Orleans Parish Schools, notably the Mardi Gras Signature School. He was the driving force behind the early years of the Krewe of Ashanti in the nineties, the first evening procession led by African-Americans. Rene Pierre works as a professional art director for various parade floats, and resides in Gretna, Louisiana.
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