The legendary Baby Dolls of Mardi Gras are the subject of a talk Friday as part of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park (NHP) series to celebrate Women’s History Month.
March marks Women’s History Month and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is celebrating the importance of female musicianship with live jazz performances and historians all month that speak to the important role that women have played in the development of jazz. Throughout the history of jazz, women have had to persevere in overcoming the prejudices of a society that was less than welcoming to their playing in a jazz band, especially in a world dominated mostly by male musicians.
The NOJHP is celebrating Women’s History Month as well with a series of talks or lectures, in addition to the live performances, to highlight womens’ contributions in jazz history. This Friday at 3pm, Xavier University professor Dr. Kim Vaz discusses her research for her new book and exhibit about New Orleans’ beloved Baby Dolls. They Call Me Baby Doll exhibit is now on view in the Presbytere unit of the Louisiana State Museum. The original Baby Dolls came out of New Orleans’ red-light district in 1912, their very appearance was subversive at a time when the white Storyville prostitutes were legally respected and their African-American counterparts were outlaws. The tradition has endured and today’s Baby Dolls include pretty girls of both genders. Vaz’s talk is Friday, March 22 at the Old U.S. Mint at 3pm.
OTHER UPCOMING NOJHP WOMENS HISTORY MONTH SERIES HIGHLIGHTS:
- Tuesday, March 26 from 2:00-3:00 pm – In the critically acclaimed book, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, author, Freddi Williams Evans discusses the Women at Congo Square.
- Saturday, March 30 from 2:00-3:30 pm – Marla Dixon & her Shotgun Jazz Band, with special guests, Barry Martyn & Orange Kellin, perform traditional jazz.
All NOJHP Women’s History Month events take place at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave.