The Uniqueness Of the Louisiana Creole
Our Culture Will withstand the test of time
In the 21st century Creole Culture and Creole People have been reduced from a Nation of Free People of Color within a three tiered society to a shattered nation of Mixed Race People who are considered by most in American Society ( both Black and Whites ) to be part of the African American Community without Cause or justification
In reality what this amounts to is a Rebuttal of Our Creole Culture. For too long too many People have taken for granted that Creoles are simply Black Americans that are no different than any Black person residing in America.
Is it Because that Creoles don't stand tall and are proud of their Culture ? or is the repudiation by the African American so overwelming that the Creole either accdepts this African American Label or Dis owns his Blackness..
There are many reasons why the Creole is ostricized by American society. so lets take a look at just where We are going with Our Culture and examine why We as Creoles , if We don't wake up, could be on the verg of Cultural destruction
lets take a look some of the issues that have affected Creoles, their Culture and their very survival
1.... Under French and Spanish Rule the Louisana Creole enjoyed a seperate Racial Catagory
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).
Early Free Person of Color
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.
2....Before the Civil War Creoles mixed freely with Whites and Native Americans
Since the beginning of Creole History in the Americas' Creoles have always been able to maintain a seperate identy ..Why , because they developed as a seperate Class of People due to their creation as a People and their status in Society
Freom the beginning of the Colony The Louisiana Slaves followed several different avenues to Freedom especially during the Spanish Period.. These Slaves purchased their freedon indirectly from willing masters and indirectly from more reluctant owners through the custom of " Coartacion"
" Coartacion" was the the system of self purchase which guaranteed the full scale recognition of the slaves right to personel property and to the making of Contracts..
Coartacion offered advantages to the slaveholders.. The Slaves and the Government and all three groups benefited according to their interest..The Crown benefited from a growing free population that tended to accept it's middle status in a three tiered society, aspiring to attain the privileges of White colonials and supplied the colony with skilled laborers and a Militia Force.
Black White and Racially Mixed Creoles recognized that they shared a unique Culture that had evolved over generations of mutual experience..Free Creoles of Color took pride in the Heritage they shared with White Creoles and fostered their relationship with one another
Sacramental records demonstrated that Creoles of Color often chose Whites to serve as god parents to their children..Often Whites who served as these Godparents were often related to their Racially Mixed god children
Creoles of Color ..by James Dormon