"Louisiana's Creoles of Color"
In 1970 the state of Louisiana's Bureau of Vital Statistics decided that 1/32 Negro blood was the diving line between white and black (Dominquez, 1986.) They then informed the public that any form of Negro blood was the legal basis for blackness. In addition modern genetic studies show that blacks in the United States average 25 percent white genes and that whites average 5 percent black genes (Woods, 1972.) Consequently, how are we to decipher who constitutes as White American, Black American, and most importantly to this paper, Creole American. The underlying questions of this paper are therefore, "Where do Creole Americans fit into this picture? With whom did Creole Americans identify themselves with?" And finally the purpose of this paper is to educate others about Creoles and their wonderfully rich heritage.
From the colonial days of New Orleans to the present time, a unique group of people has contributed to the most diverse state in America.
They were the "Gens de Couleur Libres", the Free People of Color. Today, commonly known as "Creoles" or "Creoles of Color", their descendants live in all parts of the country. Some have kept the language and culture bestowed upon them by their ancestors; while some have lost this heritage to a more "American" way of life. The fact is that this country is divided into two separate sectors, white and black, and all other divisions come separate.
Just who then were these Creole people that added so very much to Louisiana culture? There were four types of ancestry in New Orleans: Europeans, Indians, Negroes, and half bloods born of French Fathers or European Mothers who were called Creole s (Dominquez, 1986.) Creoles are among a rich cultural heritage of people. But there was little consensus as to what legally...