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Zulu Krewe Loves a Parade

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club is the oldest mostly-black krewe in New Orleans' Mardi Gras parade. They're at the head of the procession this year amid recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Coming back wasn't a completely controversy-free decision. Many members lost homes and incomes, but Keith Doley, a second generation Zulu who lost his home, said the membership made the right decision, for this year and for history.

"It was very important," Doley says. "Zulu starts Mardi Gras morning. We set the tempo."

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Karen Grigsby Bates is the Senior Correspondent for Code Switch, a podcast that reports on race and ethnicity. A veteran NPR reporter, Bates covered race for the network for several years before becoming a founding member of the Code Switch team. She is especially interested in stories about the hidden history of race in America—and in the intersection of race and culture. She oversees much of Code Switch's coverage of books by and about people of color, as well as issues of race in the publishing industry. Bates is the co-author of a best-selling etiquette book (Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times) and two mystery novels; she is also a contributor to several anthologies of essays. She lives in Los Angeles and reports from NPR West.