Early African Origins Click here


The Creole

a tenacious . People

Proud,Clanish,Quick tempered, Hospitable, Civic Minded, Generous, sensitive and Philosophical









Frenchcreoles of America




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The First Slaves, The First Free People of Color and the First People of African Descent to inhabit the New World.... The New World's Oldest Non-Native American indigenous Inhabitants


The Creole Tenacity

      Being designated "colored" by American standards, and being deprived of ethnical identity, while desperately clinging to their own West Indian culture which is rooted in Africa, this anomalous group has been forced to endure perpetual persecution from whites and blacks alike.

However, following more than 2,300 years of cultural continuity, and 300 years of social rejection, the Creole community has been able to develop and maintain the fortitude necessary to sustain itself.


      In spite of the desertions suffered by these noble people, the race thrives on, perpetuating itself in keeping with the laws of nature. Of course, the Creoles had to become masters of silence and deception to survive the unwarranted animosity against their origin. And it all began far away from Louisiana, even before La Salle claimed the Territory for France.

      Therefore, in order to keep the reader from believing that passing for white was a notion that originated in Louisiana, a small amount of Creole history along that line is a necessary part of this introduction.




      Looking back at the last quarter of the seventeenth century, we find that in the French West Indies the ancestors of Louisiana Creoles, free and slave, were demanding recognition and respect from the white colonists. Consequently, Louis XIV, in an effort to suppress violence and to maintain a sense of tranquility, promulgated the Code Noir (Black Code) in 1685. The Code declared that all free blacks must be recognized as citizens of France with all rights and privileges afforded citizens. Also, there were certain provisions in the Code which provided slaves with their own rights.

      Many white colonists, however, resented the Code Noir. They could not understand why people of African lineage should enjoy the same rights and privileges as themselves. And they did not try to conceal their feelings. They saw to it that conditions in the French colonies worsened in spite of the King's proclamation. Consequently, the Creoles began to close ranks for their own protection against racist designs.

      Following the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the colonists began to pressure the colonial governments into altering the Code, making conditions increasingly difficult for the blacks. In 1724, one of their leaders by the name of Hilliard d'Auberteuil, said to a gathering of his followers, "Policy and safety require that we crush the race of blacks by a contempt so great that whoever descends from it even to the sixth generation shall be covered with an indelible stain." And in that same year several harsh discriminatory laws were enacted.


      By then, there were several thousand Creoles in the French colonies who were so fair-skinned that they could have passed for anything from dark Indians to the whitest of Frenchmen. And those Creoles soon learned that the less they divulged about themselves, the better off would be their lot. And those who were not fair-skinned enough to pass for white had sense enough to realize that for the welfare of all blacks it was better to say "pa konay" (I don't know) than it would have been to have loose lips. Therefore, nearly three hundred years ago, passing for white became a Creole stratagem for survival. Ant that stratagem has been handed down from generation to generation until presently.

      In 1777, fifty-three years after d'Auberteuil recommended the crushing of "the race of blacks," with a severity so great that it would be felt to the "sixth generation," he was forced to complain, in writing, "There are so many colored people who are so fair that it is impossible to tell them from white, so many families whose origin is forgotten, and whose daughters are married to honest citizens....

The fair mulattos, who have become rich, have an infallible way, so to speak, of elevating themselves to the rank of whites; even though there are eye-witnesses to the dark color of their mothers and grandmothers. They claim they are descended from the Indians who came from St. Christopher in 1640 when the English drove the French from that island."

      Only fourteen years after d'Auberteuil's complaint, came the Haitian Revolution which rocked Hispaniola and sent shock waves throughout the French colonial empire. And it was that upheaval in 1791 that drove thousands of the people described by Hilliard d'Auberteuil to Louisiana to join over twenty-thousand Creoles who were already in the Territory. Grace King, in her book, New Orleans, described those emigres from the French West Indies, mostly from Haiti. She tells us that:




Besides the white and slave immigration from the West Indian Islands, there was a large influx of free gens de couleur into the City, a class of population whose increase by immigration had been sternly legislated against. Flying, however, with the whites from massacre and ruin, humanitarian sentiments induced the authorities to open the gates to them, and they entered by thousands.

... They brought in the customs and manners of a softer climate, a more luxurious society, and a different civilization. . . . They represented a distinct variety which their numbers made important, and for a time decisive in it's influence on the home of their adoption. . . . We hear of them in their boxes at the Orleans Theater, rivaling the white ladies in the tier below them, with their diamonds, Parisian headdresses, and elegant toilets; and of the tropical splendor with which they shone at their weekly balls.

      The Americans brought their brand of racism to Louisiana in December of 1803. However, from the above, it can readily be seen that the Creoles were well prepared to deal with it. Therefore, the struggles, frustrations, and the stratagem of passing for white resumed with the advent of the Americans, and have continued until presently. Today, based upon my own estimation, after studying conditions and census figures of old, there should be three to four million Louisiana Creoles scattered about these United States, with complexions representing every color and shade within the spectrum of humanity. Some are living as white; some are living as black; while tens of thousands of others are enjoying the best of both worlds.



Writings from the Honorable and Late Gilbert Martin.... A Creole Activist


New Orleans's freemen of color.....: a forgotten generation of cabinetmakers rediscovered... Click here


Passé Pour Blanc

by Glbert Martin


    while reading Passé Pour Blanc, bear two things in mind.


(1) Creoles were forced to become the chameleons of humanity long before Louisiana became a part of the United States; even before the United States were united.

(2) Those decisions pertaining to whether one should or should not pass for white are not to be considered fantastic. They occur quite frequently in the Creole community, and will continue to be prevalent as long as American racism persists. Furthermore, when Creoles refer to a person or family who lives or works as white, the term used is "Passé Blanc," and not "Passé Pour Blanc."


  Passé Pour Blanc

(Passed For white)

is a unique story depicting the ongoing struggles and frustrations of a unique people - the Creoles of Louisiana.

Although this story and it's characters are fictitious, they are based upon reality, and typifies more than two hundred years that this group had to endure such struggles and frustrations.

  Passé Pour Blanc

by Glbert Martin

About the Book

Passé Pour Blanc is a provocative, exciting, and tragic story. It vividly depicts the ongoing struggle and frustrations of a very unique nation - the French Creoles of Louisiana. Although this story and its characters are fictitious, they are based upon reality, and a lifetime of obsservations and experience.

Also, through this most powerful and commanding story, one can get a better understanding about the mysteries surrounding this nation which has been severely abused by the domination of American racism.

The term nation is used in this description for three reasons. First, contrary to popular belief, not all people designated as "colored" were brought to North America on slave ships and in chains.

Thousands of the ancestors of Louisiana French Creoles emigrated as refugees from the war torn French colonies (Haiti for the most part) in the West Indies. Secondly, those ancestors were educated, wealthy and self-sufficient long before Louisiana became a part of the United Stataes. Therefore, the United Stataes had absolutely nothing to do with their social status. And thirdly, the guarantees stipulated in the Louisiana Purchase Treaty set this community apart from all others - into a category all its own. Now, it can readily be seen that Passé Pour Blanc has a mission to accomplish.

Since the contents of Passé Pour Blancreveal actions and occurences common only to the Creole community, and those actions and occurences are expected to distinguish Louisiana French Creoles from all other nations in America, the readers are challenged to try to appply them to any other group. IfPassé Pour Blanccan be applied as being common to any other ethnic group, then its main purpose has not been served.

If it cannot be thusly applied, then this book, although fictionalized, shall take its place among the tremendous amount of evidence, already gathered, which points toward recognized nationhood for Louisiana French Creoles. This author firmly believes that Louisian French Creoles, especially those in and from New Orleans who have been frequenting both sides of the color line for centuries, have no real counterparts. No cultural equivalents



.Although the Author has passed away his Ideas were ahead of his Time and Hopefully they will not be forgotten..It will come a day whene someone will continue to challange the American Government on The persuit of Our Creole Rights



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