No Other Culture or People can boast a greater Racial and cultural Diversity
A person without a History is like a person lost in the wilderness
Not everyone who claims to be Creole is "Creole"
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The definition of the Word means different things to different People..The "True" definition first coined in the early 16th century by the Portuguese defined the first new comers as Creoles because they were neither Black nor White but a combination of both or a Created Race,thus, the Word creole came into being.."Creole" in Portuguese means to "Create" or pronounced " Criollo".This word directly referred to the Mixed Race People that came to the New World
More recently scholars have provided convincing evidence that the First Real inhabitants in the New World were a Mixed Race People brought here from the Portuguese , Spanish and french Trading Colonies in West Africa and from Lisbon Portugal itself..These People were raised to learn the European Ways so that when they accompanied the European Conquerors they could better understand and learn to communicate and help these People to better understand each other..
Lets not forget that many of the Moors were also a Mixed Race People who had for over 800 years learned the ways of the Europeans and were very well capable of dealing with the Colonizers..These AtlanticCreoles and their Culture were for the most part were very well established long before their journey to the New World..
With the beginning of the slave trade in 1525 AD when the whole scale importation of the Slave trade began more Africans began to Use the term... For the Most part Creole Slaves were preferred over the Newly arriving slaves as they were more knowledgeable had marketable skills learned in the European and African Colonies and adapated to life in the New World much earlier than the recently arriving slaves ..You must rember that during the early stages of colonization there was no such "One dropRule" that put anyone one with African Ancestry into Slavery .Back then it was the degree of blackness one possessed that determined his status and also his ability to buy back His freedom
. Creoles are a distinct People that have existed since the dawn of Creation and although they have not always been defined as Creoles throughout their existance the admixture has been the same since the dawn of the Nubian/ Egyptian Civilizations
Just Who is Creole.... Part one
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Just Who is Creole.... Part two
Are You Really Creole ??
Just Who is Creole , do you really know…Many Claim to to be Creole but there is a big difference between Having ancestorial ties to the Louisiana and living a Creole Culture…Since the advent of the One Drop Rule and the Wholesale disenfranchisment of the Creole People, Creoles have come into closer contact with their African American Cousins and with the mixing of the Louisiana Creole and African American came the Decline of the Creole as a separate People.
In the late 19th Century after the landmark decision in Plessy vs Fergusen that created the Separate but equal doctrine … The Creole began to lose his unique Mixed Race identity and found himself sharing the same status as the African American., from this time until the present day Creoles now find themselves engulfed in the African American Cultural arena..
It’s good to say You are Creole but if You are not in contact with Your Culture then You are not a Culturally acceptable Creoles . I was raised in Chicago and did not grow up in a Creole Culture. We didn’t go on the trail rides or experience the Mardi Gras or in a larger sense have a lot of Creole Friends and from the beginning I felt that I was missing out on so much of what I wanted to be.
Although many of My best friends were Creole and We grew up with a Louisiana lifestyle, the frequent Creole words, the Gumbo and the Catholic Tradition something was missing…About 25 years ago I decided I wanted to know more about Myself and My identity so I began to make frequent trips to My ancestral home in Louisiana, Read about Our Creole history, listen andlearn about zydeco Music by going to as many Louisiana Music concerts as possible..I even dug deep in side my pocket to go on the air waves and produce a Louisiana Music Program that aired over 2 years.
Still, this wasn’t enough so I bought a little House in New Orleans, the home of My great Grandfather “Emile Augustine” and have been traveling there 4 to 5 times yearly and loving every bit of it…I frequently study Louisiana Creole and attend as many Creole and family gatherings in Louisiana as possible. I attend St Augustine Catholic Church in New Orleans and frequently travel to Cane River to attend the Annual Creole Festivals …
I also seek out Creoles in the New Orleans and know quite a few who are My close friends, In the past I’ve sponsored a few Creole events and have been very active in Creole affairs.. It dosen’t stop there. .Here in California I frequent the Gym and I don’t miss a day without wearing a Creole Shirt and the rear window of My Car is plastered with Creole identity logos and decals…I have seen progress in the Creole community and have sat with the Best Creole activist anyone would be proud of…Our frenchcreoles.com web site is 9 years old and still going strong and I Frequently send out letters and E mail to other organizations asking for Creole recognition….
It’s not to say that I’m bragging about anything but what’s more important is that I’m involved in My Creole Culture and I don’t want to see It die. My other brothers and sisters could care less because many of them have married African American Mates and live inPredominate Black Communities and don’t think twice about their heritage because they have lost contact with those very cultural aspects that makes one Creole.
Many Creoles have lost Contact with their Louisiana ties and Would like to have it back but Saying You’re Creole doesn’t mean anything if You don’t live a Creole life…When Your Culture ceases so does Your ability to relate to it. In the past I’ve heard Creoles say that they are Creoles and also African American and that’s because they live both lifestyles and have a very weak dedication to their Creole Heritage..
Saying You're CREOLE is not enough .You need to live a Creole life and and stop trying to be something You're not..Your Culture is all You have and You need to let the White and African America Communities know that You're " PROUD" to be one
Creoles of Color were by definition Afro- European (with the possibility of the presence of Native American genes
in some cases). They were not "blacks," i.e.,Africans.
many were also normally free persons, not slaves, nor had they
descended from slaves. As the historian David Rankin has
noted, the so called "mulattoes" in antebellum Louisiana
enjoyed something of a prima facie claim to free status, while
blackness raised a presumption of slavery (Rankin 1978: 381-82;
Spitzer 1977: 155).
Moreover, such free persons of color, often enough "Creoles of Color,"
were deemed equal to whites in law. There was, in this
regard, a substantive, defining distinction between such Creoles
and blacks and a clear value attachment to the status
"Creole of Color" among the members of the group.
Creoles spoke French, Standard
French in the case of those who were especially advantaged,
but surely French in some form.
Creoles were of course Catholic;
in New Orleans they were likely to be members of a predominantly
Creole parish and very much part of a special community, membership
in which was a source of considerable personal pride. Indeed,
pride of group; personal attachments to group values (including
values associated with their elevated status), education, a
kind of bourgeois propriety.Creoles married one another and, to a
remarkable degree, only one another.
Marriages were frequently
arranged between families, but in any case individuals chose
mates from within the community; so much so that a close student
of Louisiana genealogy has argued that the Creole population
virtually constituted a series of large, interlocked families.
defining quality of Creole status might be sought in the very
matter of their relative prosperity and in their value commitment
to work and its rewards. This
feature of their culture was described with considerable clarity
in a New Orleans Picayune editorial on July 16, 1859:
a general rule," the editorialist asserted, the Creole
colored people, as they style themselves, are a sober, industrious
and moral class, far advanced in education and civilization."
And there could be little doubt that this was the prevailing
attitude with regard to a "class" of people who provided
a substantial percentage of "the city's finest masons,
carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, jewelers, tradesmen, and merchants."
They also owned substantial property,
real and personal, including slaves. And, as previous
essays in this collection have suggested, in general the defining
qualities of the Creoles of Color prevailed not only in New
Orleans but also elsewhere among the various Gulf coastal communities
in which Creoles formed significant population elements. Such
was the case at least until the coming of the Civil War.
Conclusion...Yes this was a description of Our Creole Ancestors but although Creoles have, in a great sense, blended in with Our African American Counter parts We non the less hold Our Culture dear to Us and continue to maintain many of those culture Values...
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