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2824Re: THE FIVE (5) TYPES OF "CREOLE"-CULTURAL GROUPS

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  • docilechicken24
    May 14, 2007
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      There are a few things in these articles
      that I wanted to bring attention to:

      The Haitian Migrations that began in 1809 doubled
      the population of the Free People of Color (FPC).
      There were already a lot of Free People of Color (FPC)
      which was a byproduct of Spanish Colonial policies,
      but it did strengthen the group considerably.
      I mention this because the reading gives the
      impression that New Orleans FPC came primarily from
      Haiti and that there weren't many FPC initially.

      The intense Colorism and Color Stratification of
      Creoles of Color was a response to loss of status
      from the Civil War and Jim Crow which began setting
      in during the early part of the 20th century.
      Although Colorism did exist, Class and
      Refinement was more important than skin
      color to the Antebellum Creoles of Color.
      It was the racial environment of post-Reconstruction
      in which extreme Colorism flourished.
      Again, it was still "better" to be closer to
      White, but it was in no way as pronounced
      as it became in the more recent history.

      I also wanted to make the distinction that the five (5)
      types of Creole Cultural groups are not specifically
      talking about Louisiana but the whole United States.
      This is distinct from the Louisiana Creole Culture
      because their definitions in no way describe the
      Racial and Ethnic group dynamics of Louisiana.
      To apply these categories to Louisiana is very
      very problematic, because although all of the
      Ethnicities mentioned are present in Louisiana,
      these divisions didn't exist in the way
      that the five (5) types describe.
      To apply the physical descriptions
      to Louisiana makes even less sense.

      Anyway, sorry to be nitpicky on the article,
      but I wanted to let y'all know, that there
      were a few spots in the articles that I found
      to be misrepresentations or problematic.



      Dustin


      ********************ARTICLE************************


      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-ttractions/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 (FPC) 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 'statu'.

      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 ...

      THE '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.

      The '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
      (FPC) 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...

      The '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 (FPC) 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 owners 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=23634982007430
      <http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=23634982007430>


      "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 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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