Ending decades of racial exclusivity, Tampa's Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla confirmed Wednesday that black members have been accepted into its all-white ranks - triggering the return of their annual Gasparilla parade.
The Gasparilla parade was canceled this year when the exclusive Krewe refused to admit black members as demanded by the Coalition of African-American Organizations.
The Krewe's inclusion of two black men ends an era for the all-male, all-white club, which has played a major role in Tampa society and business. Although the Krewe abolished a rule in the early 1980s forbidding the admittance of black members, no black man was ever offered a spot on the Krewe's famous pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla.
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