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This past Monday at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., there was an exhibition of dated black and white photos called “Easter Monday: An African-American Tradition.” As far back as 1891, black families would come in their Easter clothing to the National Zoo the Monday after Easter.

Some said that it was because the black families of the past weren’t allowed at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Others believed that the black housekeepers had to work in the homes on Easter Sunday, so Easter was celebrated on Monday at the Zoo.

The day at the National Zoo was and is filled with an Easter egg hunt, trivia games and music. The traditional Easter Panda makes an appearance. In the past, there was African storytelling and performances by an a cappella gospel quintet, a Caribbean and reggae band, a steel-drum band, a dance team, and a double-dutch jump rope team.  Zoo-goers told the press that it felt more like a family reunion. This year, the National Zoo had an estimated 20,000 visitors.

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