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As part of the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, a new krewe called the baby dolls was formed in 1912. The baby dolls were a group of black prostitutes who worked in an area outside the legal red-light district called (black) Storyville. They would dress up on Mardi Gras to out-do the red-light district workers. Their name was said to originate from the nickname already given to the women by their pimps: baby dolls.

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