Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana's Free People of Color

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Sybil Kein
LSU Press, 2000 - History - 344 pages
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The word Creole evokes a richness rivaled only by the term's widespread misunderstanding. Now both aspects of this unique people and culture are given thorough, illuminating scrutiny in Creole, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary history of Louisiana's Creole population. Written by scholars, many of Creole descent, the volume wrangles with the stuff of legend and conjecture while fostering an appreciation for the Creole contribution to the American mosaic.

The collection opens with a historically relevant perspective found in Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson's 1916 piece "People of Color of Louisiana" and continues with contemporary writings: Joan M. Martin on the history of quadroon balls; Michel Fabre and Creole expatriates in France; Barbara Rosendale Duggal with a debiased view of Marie Laveau; Fehintola Mosadomi and the downtrodden roots of Creole grammar; Anthony G. Barthelemy on skin color and racism as an American legacy; Caroline Senter on Reconstruction poets of political vision; and much more. Violet Harrington Bryan, Lester Sullivan, Jennifer DeVere Brody, Sybil Kein, Mary Gehman, Arthi A. Anthony, and Mary L. Morton offer excellent commentary on topics that range from the lifestyles of free women of color in the nineteenth century to the Afro-Caribbean links to Creole cooking.

By exploring the vibrant yet marginalized culture of the Creole people across time, Creole goes far in diminishing past and present stereotypes of this exuberant segment of our society. A study that necessarily embraces issues of gender, race and color, class, and nationalism, it speaks to the tensions of an increasingly ethnically mixed mainstream America.

  

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Review: Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana's Free People of Color

User Review  - Carolyn Howard - Goodreads

Creole is a difficult concept. Although this book helped define the word somewhat, it also added to the confusion. This was an interesting read, but it wasn't worth the money. Read full review

Contents

People of Color in Louisiana
3
Marcus Christians Treatment of Les Gens de Couleur Libre
42
How Race
57
Reading Dion Boucicaults
101
The Use of Louisiana Creole in Southern Literature
117
The Voodoo Queen Repossessed
157
Romance
179
Businesses Professions and Trades
208
The Origin of Louisiana Creole
223
AfroCaribbean Links
244
Race the Politics
252
Creole Poets on the Verge of a Nation
276
Racial Passing and Poverty in Segregated
295
Creole Culture in the Poetry of Sybil Kein
317
Contributors
327
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About the author (2000)

Sybil Kein is a Creole scholar, writer, and singer. She has published five poetry collections and several CDs of Creole music, and her recorded poetry is housed in the National Archives. She is a distinguished professor of English emerita of the University of Michigan

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