The Mardi Gras Queens of New Orleans

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Morris, Tiyi
Cope, Virginia H.

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Ohio State University. Office of Outreach and Engagement

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Five students of African-American history traveled to New Orleans to interview Mardi Gras Indian Queens, the female leaders of an African-American parading tradition that originated in the 19th century as an alternative to mainstream Mardi Gras. They worked with a filmmaker and their professor to create a documentary that highlights the role of women in perpetuating a tradition that combats marginalization and creates community cohesiveness.


IMPACT. 1: Interviewing queens and crafting the film provided students a deeply engaging service learning opportunity focusing on cultural preservation while expanding their skills and their knowledge of African-American and women's history. -- 2. The students received grants to pursue independent research on the Mardi Gras Indian queens, which they intend to present at conferences on campus and elsewhere, increasing their academic profiles. -- 3. The film will be screened at the downtown Newark FAMFEST and potentially at the 2016 Columbus campus film festival and elsewhere, bringing attention to a unique and overlooked culture and women's crucial role in its preservation.
OSU PARTNERS: Tiyi Morris, Assistant Professor in African-American & African Studies
COMMUNITY PARTNERS: The Mardi Gras Indian Council; The Mardi Gras Queens Council; Michael Yearling, Yearling Pictures



Engaged Scholars, v. 3 (2015).