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A modern celebration of African-American history
The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies march in the Zulu parade during Mardi Gras 2012.
February 8th, 2013
04:14 PM ET

A modern celebration of African-American history

By Shaina Negron, CNN

(CNN) - The week before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Millisia White came back to her native city on a trip for work. She stayed behind to help her family recover and has been home ever since.

There was something she felt she had to do. "When something you are so familiar with is threatened to be lost forever, you cling to what's familiar," said White, who moved back from Atlanta.

For White and her brother, that meant bringing back a century-old New Orleans practice of masking, or masquerading, which was nearly vanishing.

That year, she founded the New Orleans Society of Dance and incorporated into the dance company a cultural legacy series of dance performance that would revive tradition of the Baby Dolls - with a modern twist.

"We wanted to do something representing this tradition and what it meant and symbolize it in some form."

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Filed under: Black in America • History • How we live • Where we live