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

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  • multiracialbookclub
    THE FIVE (5) TYPES OF CREOLE -CULTURAL GROUPS Listed below are several articles which contain some information on the MGM-Mixed* `Cultural group both
    Message 1 of 3 , May 13, 2007

      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=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 ( 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

    • docilechicken24
      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
      Message 2 of 3 , May 14, 2007
        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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