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1049Re: The Five (5) Types of 'Creole'-Cultural Groups

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  • Peter Barrett
    May 4, 2006
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      What is intersting is that these five types make up one people today.
      They all share their culture and are ancestrally related.
      Some speak a diffrent dialect, some
      custom can be different and some the same.
      Creoles in New Orleans and Cane River can be
      a bit diffrent in the Bayou Teche for example.
      However they all share the same cultural
      charteristics that make the Creole group.

      In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com,
      "multiracialbookclub" <soaptalk@...> wrote:

      THE FIVE (5) TYPES OF "CREOLE"-CULTURAL GROUPS

      Listed below are several articles which contain some
      information on the MGM-Mixed* `Cultural' group
      both commonly known and referred to as "Creole".
      (*MGM-Mixed==Multi-Generational Multiracially-Mixed)

      It might be of interest to note that there are five
      (5) different categories of "American Creoles":

      --- 'Black',
      --- 'French',
      --- 'Indian',
      --- 'Spaniard'
      and
      --- `White'

      ************************************

      ARTICLE: "THE CREOLES & THE
      OTHER `FPC' GROUPS IN THE USA"

      Free People of Color (F.P.C.) were Africans, Creoles of Color
      (New World-Born People of African descent), and persons
      of Mixed African, European, and or Native American descent.

      Although the term "Creole" has been debated over the past 100
      years, under Spanish Colonial Louisiana and the early American
      period, the word "Creole" was used to describe slaves native
      to the New World and by F.P.C. or Creoles of Color.

      Use of the term by whites to describe themselves was
      inconsistent and probably did not become common until
      after the large influx of Americans arrived in the
      city after the Battle of New Orleans in 1815....

      In Louisiana, the first F.P.C. came from France or
      its Colonies in the Caribbean and in West Africa ...

      The majority of these slaves were Africans
      and unmixed Blacks who bought their freedom.

      Later on this initial group would be augmented by Haitian refugees
      and other F.P.C. from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South
      America, other parts of the United States, and from around the world.

      The reason for the high number of F.P.C. in New Orleans was
      largely due to the influx of Haitian Refugees into the city in 1809.

      http://www.neworleansonline.com/tours-attractions/multicultural/fpc.htm
      http://www.neworleansonline.com/tours-attractions/multicultural/
      http://www.neworleansonline.com/tours-attractions/multicultural/creole.html

      ARTICLE: THE "COLORED
      CREOLE CONTRADICTION"

      [T]he notion of "Creole" was socially constructed by whites
      and coloreds, such that the definition of Creole varied
      depending on the racial background of the definer.

      The colored Creoles, or gens de couleur libre, were a separate group
      of Creoles who occupied a particular racial position in New Orleans

      Creole society and are a perfect example of
      a marginalized group that faced strict external

      Definitions from Anglo Americans after the Civil War ...

      After whites characterized colored Creoles as "black,"
      the gens de couleur libre created their own society,
      defining themselves as a colored Creole community ...

      Between 1800 and 1860, the gens de couleur libre were
      a socially- and self-defined French ethnic group.

      They prided themselves on being descendants
      of a free, well-cultured people ...

      The gens de couleur libre occupied a relatively unstable
      position in New Orleans between 1800 and 1860.

      Their community was both dependent on and
      independent of the white and black communities.

      Free people of color used many gradations of color
      as the standard of respectability, but the white
      community was used as the standard of beauty.

      Some colored planters owned slaves, whose Labor
      naturally contributed to the wealth and prestige of
      the planter within the gens de couleur libre community.

      They also used blacks to contrast themselves, as they
      were a constant reminder of their slave origins.

      In this manner, colored Creoles used blacks to
      gauge how far they had progressed from slavery.

      This ideology was further manifested in an
      emphasis on facial features and skin color and tone.

      Although the gens de couleur libre did not desire to be
      white, they participated in the gradual lightening of their skin.

      Their community operated within a caste system
      based on terminology, "each meaning one more
      generation's elevation toward perfection in white blood."

      Thus, colored Creoles imposed a value
      hierarchy on physical appearance:
      the whiter a person was, the better his/her status.

      This apparent confusion is better known
      as the colored Creole contradiction ...

      This identity also came with a price:
      other Creoles of color were oppressed or shunned
      because they did not look "white" enough.

      Again, the emphasis on light skin in the gens de couleur libre
      community did not translate into a desire to actually be white ...

      Whites enjoyed full social equality and freedom under
      Louisiana law, and the gens de couleur libre wished to partake
      of those same freedoms and equalities but were excluded full
      participation because of their varying degrees of black blood ...

      COLORED CREOLES DISLIKED BEING DEFINED AS
      MULATTO because of its origins, from the Spanish
      word for mule, which they perceived as an offense.

      MULATTO WAS ALSO A SOCIALLY-CONSTRUCTED
      TERM THAT WAS GENERALLY APPLIED TO ALL
      MIXED BLACKS in the United States, especially
      to the gens de couleur libre, without their consent.

      Colored Creoles believed that they were neither black nor white.

      Thus, they occupied an uncertain region somewhere in between ...

      White attitudes towards the gens de couleur libre
      can be best understood in further historical analysis
      of their treatment in the American period of Louisiana.

      The American period is more demonstrative of the general beliefs
      held about free people of color than the French and Spanish eras.

      During the American period, a few years before the Civil War,
      the gens de couleur libre BECAME THE VICTIMS OF SOCIAL

      DISCRIMINATION IN EVERY PART OF THEIR
      LIVES DUE TO WHITE FEAR OF RACIAL EQUALITY.

      SEGREGATION MADE WHITES FEEL
      SUPERIOR AND COMFORTABLE ...

      Colored Creoles were regarded as dangerous
      by whites because of their ideas of freedom,
      education, and "constant influence over slaves"...

      THE HOSTILITY ... WAS EVENTUALLY TRANSFORMED
      INTO AN ANTI-FREE PERSON OF COLOR MOVEMENT ...

      White racism and prejudice was detrimental to the colored
      Creole community and the effects of these various attitudes
      on Creoles of color was manifested by an increasing
      emphasis on race rather than socio-economic class ...

      Their unique "position" between blacks
      and whites lasted for only fifty years.

      WHAT DOES THEIR SITUATION REVEAL ABOUT SELF-
      PERCEIVED, AND EXTERNALLY APPLIED IDENTITY?

      For nineteenth century Creoles of color, their identities
      were informed by whites and in part by blacks.

      External influences mattered very little before the Civil
      War, because they created their own institutions and
      environments that defined for themselves who they were.

      These institutions reinforced self-perceptions about skin
      color and socially prescribed colored Creole culture.

      But, the world of the gens de couleur libre was insulated for
      only a short time because the Civil War spelled their
      eradication as a racially separate group of people ...

      To romanticize the lives of the gens de couleur libre
      ultimately does their memory a great disservice.

      The history of race, race relations and the formation of identity as
      examined through the lives of the gens de couleur libre continue
      to inform our understanding and teaching of American history.

      http://www-mcnair.berkeley.edu/uga/osl/mcnair/94BerkeleyMcNairJournal/02_McNeill.html

      ARTICLE: REFLECTIONS ON THE HISTORY OF
      THE LOUISIANA AFRO-CREOLE POPULATION

      Most scholars will already be familiar with the ...
      Creoles [those who are]... of mixed African
      and French or Spanish descent, and their
      distinctive situation as an intermediate caste
      between the white masters and the black slaves.

      Their social and legal status, even after
      the American takeover of Louisiana in 1803,
      resembled that of a third racial category.

      THIS TOPIC HAS BECOME TIMELY OF LATE, WITH
      THE CENSUS DISPUTE OVER COUNTING AFRICAN
      AMERICANS OF "MULTIRACIAL" BACKGROUND,

      http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=#634982007430

      "BLACK" CREOLE:

      A person who can trace his family bloodline to a direct
      descendent of the Africans who settled in Louisiana during
      the colonial period of African-American history.

      Black Creole physical traits:

      **Dark eyes.
      **Has predominantly African
      ancestral physical traits ...

      THE FIRST RECORDED CREOLES IN AMERICA
      HAD A MIXTURE OF ETHNICALLY
      FRENCH AND AFRICAN TRAITS..

      "FRENCH" CREOLE:

      A person who can trace his family bloodline
      to a direct descendent of French settlers
      who settled in Louisiana during the colonial
      period of French and American History.

      French Creole physical traits:

      **Fair to tan skin pigmentation.
      **Naturally straight to wavy hair, a synthetic
      look, without the use of synthetic products.
      **Light brown or hazel eyes within the
      family genealogical lines.
      **High cheek bones, predominantly French
      with some ancestral traits of other races.

      "INDIAN" CREOLE:

      A person that can trace his family bloodline to
      a Creole descendant of the Colonial Creole period,
      and the American Indian in American history.

      Most Indian Creole have similar physical traits
      to the French Creole with very little distinction.

      "SPANIARD" CREOLE:

      Spaniard Creoles are for the most part
      NON-EXISTENT today, due to the strong
      French , Indian, and Afro / American and
      White influence of the Creole community.

      "WHITE" CREOLE:

      A person that can trace his family bloodline to
      Creole and Italian and Indian descendent of the
      colonial Creole period prior to the American
      Civil War period in American history.

      White Creole physical traits:

      **Most white Creoles have
      very fair skin pigmentation.
      **Naturally blond hair, hazel eyes,
      (some have blue eyes) and dark brown eyes.

      In today's world White Creoles exist
      in a White/Creole marriage union ...

      Over the years more predominantly French traits
      have dominated the genealogy of the Creole
      cultural heritage or ( or Creole person ) ...

      http://www.brothermichael.com/cajun/creole/
      http://ccet.louisiana.edu/03a_Cultural_Tourism_Files/01.02_The_People/Creoles.html
      http://www.crt.state.la.us/crt/tourism/ourcultureabounds/ocasola.htm
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