listen to this Creoles story
My Name is Urjani and for over three years I have embraced my Creole heritage. I find myself getting really upset sometimes, because my father and mother don't acknowledge their Creole ancestry and call themselves black.
My father which is weird can only relate to his african american mother, yet he was never raised by her but his Creole Aunt. My aunt raised him as her only child and she was married to an african american man. My Grand father, my father's father was Creole and to these day my father's half siblings and mother's family members can't stand him because they believe he thinks he is better than them because his father was white. One of my cousins has went as far as change his name to Mickl'e because it is an unusual given name.
Mickl'e is pronounced Michael. It is Germanic French. My mom also see herself as black. My grandmother, my mother's mom is Afro-Creole and Native American. My mom was raised off and on in her grand mother's and Grandfather's home who spoke constantly in French and Native American tribal tongue. My mother regrets no embracing either French nor my Great Grandfather William's Native tribal language. My mom's father was Creole and African American, a second generation, His mother was Creole and African American.
I am aware that my parents are from the civil rights and etc movement, which is why the are so gun ho about being African American. I have noticed the pattern of Creoles marrying African American Heavily in their era. And also calling themselves African American which why Creoles have died out. But I have found most in my generation and after my generation re-claim their Creole ancestry. It is so heavily visible in my Husband 's mother side of, the family
His Grandmother is Creole with Creole siblings and cousins. She married an African American man who New Orleans is proud to claim him as one of the first African American Attorneys. If you look at our grandfather , you can see he is a light skinned African American at that. The They have annual family reunions. The Majority of grandfather's family members are fair skin and look just like Creole. I began to question there claims of African American- ness.
My husband mother and sisters, call themselves African American and you can sense an attitude when the talk of their family members of the past who have passed for white and married white men. These family members who passed for white would meet their family who choose to be black at the bus stop to visit and give them money to help out. My husband 's Aunt looks like her Creole mother and have stringy medium length hair. My husband's mother married his father twice who is an African American male, clearly.My husband's father side of the family are very dark side and have the clear stereotypical African traits.
We have had our first child in 2006 in the wake of Katrina and I found myself embracing our Creole heritage. I wouldn't ignore it by just saying African American. My father, mother and Parraine (GodFather) get upset with me when I take the stand and say what I am and what my family, as my husband and children are.
My father told me flat out in front of my husband and son that I have self hatred. My mom said that I am trying to be special and my parriane told me that I am talking bullshit or shit. I don't bring these things up, they do but I am trying to raise my kids with the understanding that they may have African American relatives and ancestors but that is not the only relatives and ancestors they have. It is ok to embrace both or all of our heritage because African American blood doesn't dominate all.
I am sorry this message is long but it is so nice to have someone to talk to about this who are not quick to talk about racism and the one drop rule. How do I deal with these kind of issues? I also think about how confusing the Creole name is since one meaning of it is Native. My close friend who is African American told me that saying your are Creole American is like saying your Native American, since Creole means Native.
Another Friend who has a Creole Mixed heritage doesn't embrace it at all, she calls herself Black, but likes to have the best of both worlds. She is fair completed as I. She has the curly hair and permed it to make it more fuller curls instead of tighter curls. She takes pride when Latinos come to her out of no where start talking spanish to her because they assumed she was Latin.
One day we were on the bus going or coming from Tulane University and she looked at my skin and asked me "You are lighter than me?" I told her yes, caught of guard and surprised she said that to me. She then went on to tell me that she has never met anyone who was lighter than her. She had a conversation with her Grandmother on her mother side, her Grandmother said that my friend was not African American but Colored. My friend tried to argue her point but her Grandmother told her she doesn't want to relies this but she is Colored.
The reason she had this conversation with her grandmother is because Her and I had a conversation about Creoles and both of our heritage. She wants to write a book about Homer Plessy life. She wanted to write it based on a daughter of Homer Plessy point of view of his struggle for civil right. She wanted to have it set in a time of year in which the American Girl books don't have an era written about.
She wanted me to help her write it since she wasn't a writer but I was. I told her that Homer wasn't African American but in fact Creole. SHe wanted to write him and his daughter as African American characters. I felt that write him like this would not be correct but wrong a who group of people, the Creole people. I know that Homer doesn't have kids, so the daughter would have been fictional. She wanted to sell the book to American girl. She wanted the doll to look like her, not knowing that the American Girl company only uses three different doll molds to make their dolls.
So I was off the book and she decided to write about her family instead. She feels that she is African American yet she talks about the tribe her father's family are from. Her father ancestors. My thought was how are you going to announce you are African American and talk about your Native American Ancestors? My claim African American Nationality like a badge of honor, you just erased any other heritage and/or ancestors who are not black. They don't exist.
Sometimes I feel out numbered and I don't have anyone to talk to about. I am in the middle of searching different ancestory members. I started with my grandparents. My living grandmother, is the only one that doesn't talking about her childhood or ancestry. She just say's we are black. This is my mother's mother. We are not just black. My father feels like since I am embracing all of my heritage that I am a Nazi because on his side of the family Are Germans.
Thanks for reading my message,