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J’ouvert is a wild, pre-dawn street masquerade that marks the beginning of Caribbean Carnival. It’s a tradition that represents rebellion and freedom from slavery for West Indian communities around the world.

New York City’s J’ouvert is one of the most famous, bringing out more than 250,000 revelers every year who party through the night dressed in elaborate costumes or smothered in paint and powder.

While J’ouvert is a cultural cornerstone for the city, it’s become a subject of controversy.

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