La. mother says son given blackface figurine at Mardi Gras parade

NEW ORLEANS, La. (CBS) -- A New Orleans resident said she took her 4-year-old son to a Mardi Gras parade, and he came home with a blackface figurine.

"I was just totally perplexed," Carmen Cousin said. "I didn't know what to think!"

Cousin said her son was sitting atop her fiance's shoulders when someone from one of the floats gave him a bubble-wrapped box.

"Inside of the bubble wrap were two porcelain blackface figures," Cousin said.

Several parade-goers got the figurines, and posted in display on social media. One man, Rene Bond, said his friend opened it at the parade and "everybody just kind of got quiet."

"I was searching my mind for like, an explanation," said Gregory Hawkins, who also got the package. "I thought maybe they were salt shakers or something like that. Or that this was some sort of historic thing for the Endymion crew specifically. But the more I thought about it, the more upset I became about it."

Krewe of Endymion, the organization that put on the parade, has made no official comment yet on why the figurines were handed out. The organization did reply to one parent who reached out on Facebook, asking them which float was handing out the figurines.

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