I love the site frenchcreoles.com, as it has taught me much about my ancestry. I began taking interest in the Creole culture as a young adult because people would often ask me ... "What are you?" Then, when I found out that there are some key profile people in my family (won't mention names), it became even more interesting.
Unfortunately, this forum seems to have many posts with questions that have gone unanswered, so I'm wondering if mine will, as well.
I'm a little confused on exactly who is Creole.
I understand that Creole is not a race, but rather a culture which originated from a mixed race of people.
For example, in my case ... my great grandmother and grandfather were both Creole. My grandmother and grandfather were also Creole, obvioously because of their parents and their way of life (culturally and language-wise).
My dad, however, left Louisiana as a young boy and relocated to a more mainstream lifestyle in the midwest. He then married my mom, which resulted in several children, including myself.
Would my dad and his children be considered Creole, as well?
Lastly, I will be attending a Family Reunion in New Orleans this summer. This will be my first trip to New Orleans. I would love to visit cultural-type areas which signify the Creole culture.
Does anyone have any recommendations on places I can see?
...Seems like We have as lot in common...Well I guess I'll start by answering that question of" Who is a Creole"..? a Creole is a Person who has a Louisiana Creole Culture and Heritage. it's not necessary to have lived in Louisiana but having parents that have Louisiana French Creole ties to Louisiana and practice the Louisiana Creole Culture is more than enough...
All of My ancestors come from Louisiana and although many of them have relocated to other areas as my family relocated to Chicago We still maintain our Creole Heritage and keep in close contact with Other Creole People.We eat gumbo, Red beans and rice ,eat Roux with all our food, We eat tea cakes and pralines ...We have strong Catholic ties and are taught to respect others and have very strong work ethics..
when We were small My sisters all learned something that they carried for the rest of their lives...One learned to play the Piano. the other castanet's,one went to a private-College to become a Physical Ed teacher and all my brothers wound up getting degrees and good paying jobs and none of Us were ever in trouble with the Law..
We were all poor and on welfare at various times as Our Father died at a very early age so my mother was left alone to support 8 children..She never spoke much about the Creole World but We all knew that We were Creoles..I guess many Creoles sort of hid their Culture for fear of a Black blacklash...It wasn't Until 20 years ago that I begin to get Closer to My Creole Culture ...Now I have a second home in New Orleans and feel right at home there..and when I encounter other Creoles it's like seeing my Cousins... believe it or not you know that you are Creole from day one...
We've lived away from the Real Louisiana life style for so long that some of Us.seem to now accept the African/American Label but not Me..If You get to New Orleans You'll won't find a Creole community per say because many have left Louisiana just like My ancestors but when You come across another Creole You'll surely know it because thy will act like You..When you get to New Orleans and go to the French Quarters You'll find a few Creole shops in the French market and on Decatur Street and when you talk to them You'll find out how much in common You both have......Don't let those hostile anti-Creole people get you down...keep Your head high , You have a lot to be proud of...and You have a Great Culture
Forgot to tell You that When You get to New Orleans go to Mass at St Augustine's Catholic Church in the Treme Area just outside the French Quarters next to Louis Armstrong Park.
Visit the St Louis cemetery and view all the historical Crypts which house many of Your Famous Creole Ancestors,don't forget the Farmers Market and take in one of the local swamp tours..There is a very tasty Creole Restaurant on Elysian Fields and 605 that has the tastiest Creole Food in New Orleans..and by all means rent You a car and take a drive to Creole Country ( Opolousas,Lafayette, Baton Rouge,Lake Charles and to Avery island in St Mary's Parish and watch them make Tabasco sauce and pick up some really good souvenirs
Augustine, thank you so very muh for responding to my post.
Over the past 10 years, a copy of my family tree was provded to me by a cousin in Kentucky. Outside of my daughter, it was the most amazing thing I've ever held in my hands.
Because my dad was somewhat distant from many of his relatives, I never had an opportunity to meet many of them until recent. That's why our family tree was such a wonderful gift for me.
I then joined Facebook and began to meet other family members in my area who openly welcomed me.
My family originated from New Roads, LA in Pointe Coupee Parish (Jarreau's and LeDuff's). I'm hoping to visit the area (if it's within distance) when I arrive in New Orleans.
Thank you so much for explaining to me the Creole culture. I guess that's where I get much of my integrity from.
I have the same philosophy of life ... work hard to achieve what you desire, love and treat everyone as you expect to be loved and treated.
My family is also very well educated, highly intelligent, and I'm proud to say that I don't know of anyone in my family that has had a troubled past or that has broken the law (okay, speeding tickets may be an exception, but that's a whole nother' story! ;D).
I guess it's how my parents raised us.
I'm also Catholic, which is also something that I've taken a lot of heap over in my community. I also went to a private boarding academy, which I'm very proud of, as it taught me diversity, sophistication, and etiquette.
And, yes, although I feel that I look African-American, there are many that question my heritage which has caused me many problems and heart-aches within my my own community over my lifetime. I just bless them and move on.
Unfortunately, I now watch my 11 year old daughter experiencing the same in school, who often comes home crying because she's often called names.
You are so wonderful to have taken time to explain the Creole culture, as well as places to visit when I arrive in New Orleans this July.
I know the last post to this has been a while. I thought I would take a look. There are many that have lost the culture. Isn't the Creole culture diffrent in diffrent regions? I'm not trying to draw a dividing line. I ask the question since my family stopped being Catholic a least two generations from me, my children being the third. Three of my grandparents are from Creole country, St. Landry, Point Coupee and Iberia parish. My grandfather from Iberia parish is the only one considered Creole. His father was from St. Martinville. The French language stopped when it wasn't taught to my mother's generation. My grandfather never gave up the language and food however. He married my grandmother an African American and you went back generations in the AME Zion churches. My grandfather's siblings most married African Americans, in and outside Louisiana.
I have noticed some of the post about Black Creoles having no mixture. Many in my family don't consider themselves mixed but know and understand we have Acadian and Native American ancestry. We look African American. Obviously my AME connection , I was raised in the African American culture. I'm the only one left in California that makes gumbo still. My relatives elsewhere still make, gumbo, sauce picante, boudin etc.. We know our Creole ancestry, and I find it to be the most interesting.