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Acculturation Strategies



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Their ancestors were upper class whites, many of whom were plantation owners or officials during the French and Spanish colonial periods. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, they formed a separate caste that used French. They were Catholics, and retained the traditional cultural traits of related social groups in France, but they were the first French group to be submerged by Anglo-Americans. In the late twentieth century they largely ceased to exist as a distinct group. Creoles of color, the descendants of free mulattos and free blacks, are another group considered Creole in Louisiana. In the seventeenth century, French explorers and settlers moved into the United States with their customs, language, and government.

Their dominant presence continued until when France ceded Louisiana to Spain. Despite Spanish control, French language and customs continued to prevail. According to Thomas Fiehrer's essay "From La Tortue to La Louisiane: An Unfathomed Legacy," Saint-Dominque had more than , black slaves, 40, to 45, whites, and 32, gens-decouleur libres, who were neither white nor slaves. The slave revolt not only challenged French authority, but after defeating the expeditionary corps sent by Napoleon, the leaders of the slaves established an independent country named Haiti. Most Whites were either massacred or fled, many with their slaves, as did many mulatto freemen, many of who also owned slaves.

By , over 11, refugees had settled in New Orleans. Toussaint L'Ouverture , a self-educated slave, took control of Saint-Domingue in , sending more refugees to the Gulf Coast. Some exiles went directly to present-day Louisiana; others went to Cuba. Of those who went to Cuba, many came to New Orleans in the early s after the Louisiana territory had been purchased by the United States Some refugees moved on to St.

Martinville, Napoleonville, and Henderson, rural areas outside New Orleans. Others traveled further north along the Mississippi waterway. In Louisiana, the term Creole came to represent children of black or racially mixed parents as well as children of French and Spanish descent with no racial mixing. Louis began referring to themselves as Creoles after the Louisiana Purchase to set themselves apart from the Anglo-Americans who moved into the area. Today, the term Creole can be defined in a number of ways. Louisiana historian Fred B.

Kniffin, in Louisiana: Its Land and People, has asserted that the term Creole "has been loosely extended to include people of mixed blood, a dialect of French, a breed of ponies, a distinctive way of cooking, a type of house, and many other things. It is therefore no precise term and should not be defined as such. Louisiana Creoles of color were different and separate from other populations, both black and This woman is a quilter at the Amand Broussard House in Louisiana Creole Country. These Creoles of color became part of an elite society; in the nineteenth century they were leaders in business, agriculture, politics, and the arts, as well as slaveholders.

Nonetheless, as early as their legal status had been defined by the Code Noir Black Code. According to Violet Harrington Bryan in The Myth of New Orleans in Literature, Dialogues of Race and Gender, they could own slaves, hold real estate, and be recognized in the courts, but they could not vote, marry white persons, and had to designate themselves as f. According to Virginia A.

Dominguez in White By Definition, much of the written record of Creoles comes from descriptions of individuals in the baptismal, marriage, and death registers of Catholic churches of Mobile Alabama and New Orleans, two major French outposts on the Gulf Coast. The earliest entry is a death record in wherein a man was described as the first Creole in the colony. The term also appears in a slave trial in New Orleans. Differences of opinion regarding the Creoles persist. The greatest controversy stems from the presence or absence of African ancestry. In an lecture at These two men are presenting the Creole flag to the audience at a Creole festival. Hopkins, c.

These three men were probably the most prominent Creole intellectuals of the nineteenth century. The phrase "Creole of color" was used by these proud part-Latin people to set themselves apart from American blacks. These Haitian descendants were cultured, educated, and economically prosperous as musicians, artists, teachers, writers, and doctors. Dorman has stated that the group was clearly recognized as special, productive, and worthy by the white community, citing an editorial in the New Orleans Times Picayune in that referred to them as "Creole colored people.

After the Civil War and Reconstruction, however, the Creoles of color—who had been part of the free black population before the war—were merged into a two-caste system, black and white. The identification of a Creole was, and is, largely one of self-choice. Important criteria for Creole identity are French language and social customs, especially cuisine, regardless of racial makeup. Many young Creoles of color today live under pressure to identify themselves as African Americans. Several young white Creoles want to avoid being considered of mixed race. Therefore, both young black and white Creoles often choose an identity other than Creole.

With imported furniture, wines, books, and clothes, white Creoles were once immersed in a completely French atmosphere. Part of Creole social life has traditionally centered on the French Opera House; from to , it was the place for sumptuous gatherings and glittering receptions. The interior, graced by curved balconies and open boxes of architectural beauty, seated people. Creoles loved the music and delighted in attendance as the operas were great social and cultural affairs. White Creoles clung to their individualistic way of life, frowned upon intermarriage with Anglo-Americans, refused to learn English, and were resentful and contemptuous of Protestants, whom they considered irreligious and wicked. Creoles generally succeeded in remaining separate in the rural sections but they steadily lost ground in New Orleans.

In , there were seven Creoles to every Anglo-American in New Orleans, but these figures dwindled to two to one by Anglo-Americans reacted by disliking the Creoles with equal enthusiasm. Gradually, New Orleans became not one city, but two. Canal Street split them apart, dividing the old Creole city from the "uptown" section where the other Americans quickly settled. To cross Canal Street in either direction was to enter another world.

These differences are still noticeable today. Older Creoles complain that many young Creoles today do not adhere to the basic rules of language propriety in speaking to others, especially to older adults. They claim that children walk past homes of people they know without greeting an acquaintance sitting on the porch or working on the lawn. Young males are particularly criticized for greeting others quickly in an incomprehensible and inarticulate manner. Creole cooking is the distinguishing feature of Creole homes.

It can be as subtle as Oysters Rockefeller, as fragrantly explicit as a jambalaya, or as down to earth as a dish of red beans and rice. A Creole meal is a celebration, not just a means of addressing hunger pangs. Many of the dishes listed below are features of African-influenced Louisiana, that is, Creoles of color and black Creoles. The Europeans who settled in New Orleans found not only the American Indians, whose file the ground powder of the sassafras leaf is the key ingredient of Creole gumbos, but also immense areas of inland waterways and estuaries alive with crayfish, shrimp, crab, and fish of many different varieties.

Moreover, the swampland was full of game. The settlers used what they found and produced a cuisine based on good taste, experimentation, and spices. The seasonings used are distinctive, but there is yet another essential ingredient—a heavy black iron skillet. Such dexterity produced the many faceted family of gumbos. Gumbo is a soup or a stew, yet too unique to be classified as one or the other. It starts with a base of highly seasoned roux a cooked blend of fat and flour used as a thickening agent , scallions, and herbs, which serves as a vehicle for oysters, crabs, shrimp, chicken, ham, various game, or combinations thereof. Oysters may be consumed raw on the half-shell , sauteed and packed into hollowed-out French bread, or baked on the half-shell and served with various garnishes.

Shrimp, crayfish, and crab are similarly starting points for the Creole cook who might have croquettes in mind, or a pie, or an omelette, or a stew. Creoles are a festive people who enjoy music and dancing. In New Orleans during French rule, public balls were held twice weekly and when the Spanish took over, the practice continued. These balls were frequented by white Creoles, although wealthy Creoles of Color may also have attended. Saturday night balls and dances were a universal institution in Creole country. The community knew about the dances by means of a flagpole denoting the site of the dance.

Families arrived on horseback or in a variety of wheeled carriages. The older adults played vingt-et-un Twenty-one or other card games while the young danced and engaged in flirtations until the party dispersed near daybreak. During the special festive season, between New Year's and Mardi Gras, many brilliant balls were scheduled. Only the most respected families were asked to attend with lists scrutinized by older members of the families to keep less prominent people away. A rich collection of Creole proverbs can be found in several references. The original language community of the Creoles was composed of French and Louisiana Creole. Morphologically and lexically Louisiana Creole resembles Saint-Domingue Creole, although there is evidence that Louisiana Creole was well established by the time Saint-Domingue refugees arrived in Louisiana.

For many years, Louisiana Creole was predominantly a language of rural blacks in southern Louisiana. In the past, Louisiana Creole was also spoken by whites, including impoverished whites who worked alongside black slaves, as well as whites raised by black nannies. French usage is no longer as widespread as it once was. As Americans from other states began to settle in Louisiana in large numbers after , they became the dominant social group. As such, the local social groups were acculturated, and became bilingual. Eventually, however, the original language community of the Creoles, French and Louisiana Creole, began to be lost. At the end of the twentieth century, French is spoken only among the elderly, primarily in rural areas.

The past sayings of the Creoles were unusual and colorful. According to Leonard V. Huber in "Reflections on the Colorful Customs of Latter-Day New Orleans Creoles," an ugly man who has a protruding jaw and lower lip had une gueule de benitier a mouth like a holy water font , and his face was une figure de pomme cuite a face like a baked apple. A man who stayed around the house constantly was referred to as un encadrement doorframe.

The expression pauvres diables poor devils was applied to poor individuals. Anyone who bragged too much was called un bableur a hot air shooter. An amusing expression for a person who avoided work was that he had les cotes en long vertical ribs. Additional Creole colloquialisms are: un tonnerre a la voile an unruly person ; menterie lie or Often the older community members aid in the rearing of the young children in Creole families. Traditionally, men were the heads of their household, while women dedicated their lives to home and family. The Creoles also felt it a duty to take widowed cousins and orphaned children of kinspeople into their families.

Unmarried women relatives tantes lived in many households. They provided a much-needed extra pair of hands in running the household and rearing the children. Creoles today are still closely knit and tend to marry within the group. However, many are also moving into the greater community and losing their Creole ways. In the old days, Creoles married within their own class. The young man faced the scrutiny of old aunts and cousins, who were the guardians and authorities of old family trees.

The suitor had to ask a woman's father for his daughter's hand. The gift of a ring allowed them to be formally engaged. All meetings of young people were strictly chaperoned, even after the engagement. Weddings, usually held at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, were opulent affairs with Swiss Guards meeting the wedding guests and preceding them up the aisle. Behind the guests came the bride, accompanied by her father, and then the groom, escorting the bride's mother.

The groom's parents followed, and then all the relatives of both bride and groom. A relative's absence was interpreted as a silent protest against the wedding. The bride's gown was handed down through generations or purchased in Paris to become an heirloom. Unlike today's weddings, there were no ring bearers, bridesmaids, or matrons of honor, or any floral decorations in the church. Ceremonies were held in the evenings.

Louis Cathedral is still the place for New Orleans' Creole weddings, and many relatives still attend, though in fewer numbers. Baptisms usually took place when the child was about a month old. The godfather parrain and the god-mother marraine were always relatives, usually from each side of the family. It was a decided honor to be asked to serve as a godparent. The marraine gave the infant a gift of a gold cross and chain, and the parrain offered either a silver cup or a silver knife and fork.

The godfather also gave a gift to the godmother and paid for the celebration that followed the baptism. It was an expensive honor to be chosen parrain. In the past, when someone died, each post in the Creole section of town bore a black-bordered announcement informing the public of the death and the time and place of the funeral. These notices were also placed at St. Louis Cathedral on a death notice blackboard. Invitations were issued for the funeral, and funeral services were held in the home. The wearing of mourning was a rigorous requirement. The deceased's immediate family put on grand deuil full mourning. During the six months of full mourning it was improper to wear jewelry or anything white or with colors. Men wore a black tie, a black crepe band on the hat, and sometimes a black band on the arm.

After six months, the widow could wear black clothes edged with a white collar and cuffs. Slave or black Creole funeral processions often lasted an hour and covered a distance of less than six squares or one-third mile. News of the deaths were received through the underground route by a system of telegraph chanting. Cemeteries held an important place in Creole life. A family tomb received almost as much attention as a church. To not visit the family tomb on All Saints' Day November 1 was unforgivable. Some well-known cemeteries are St. Louis Number One, the oldest in Louisiana, and St.

Louis Number Two. Roch Cemetery, which is noted for its shrine, was built by Father Thevis in fulfillment of a vow to Saint Roch for protection for the congregation of Holy Trinity Church from the yellow fever epidemic of Cypress Grove, Greenwood, and Metairie cemeteries are among the most beautiful burial grounds in Louisiana. Large structures resembling churches with niches for life-like marble statues of the saints may be found in Metairie Cemetery.

Roman Catholicism is strongly associated with Creoles. Records from churches in Mobile, New Orleans, and other parts of the area indicate the presence of both black and white Creoles in church congregations very early in the eighteenth century. After segregation of the Catholic church in , certain churches became identified with Creoles of color. In Corpus Christi Church opened in the seventh ward, within walking distance of many Creoles of color. Peter Claver, Epiphany, and Holy Redeemer are also associated with black populations.

Each church has a parish school run by the Blessed Sacrament Sisters. Louis Cathedral and St. Augustine's Church are prominent in the larger Creole society, with women predominating in attendance. Today, only about half of the people in Louisiana are Catholics but the early dominance of Catholicism has left its mark on people of other denominations. In the southern part of the state, especially in New Orleans, place and street names are often associated with particular saints. Almost all of the material written about Creoles describes a devotion to the Virgin Mary, All Saint's Day November 1 , and the many activities associated with the observance of Lent and Holy Week, especially Mardi Gras.

Other important religious figures are St. Jude the patron saint of impossible cases , St. Peter who opens the gates of heaven , and St. Anthony who helps locate lost articles. Holy Week is closely observed by Creoles, both as a religious celebration and as a time of customs and superstition. On Holy Thursday morning, housewives, when they heard the ringing of church bells, used to take pots from the stove and place them on the floor, making the sign of the cross. Also, nine varieties of greens were cooked—a concoction known as gumbo shebes. On Good Friday Creoles visited churches on foot and in silence to bring good fortune.

Few Protestants and no known Jews are found in the white Creole community. Today, many Creoles are nonpracticing Catholics with some agnostics, some atheists, and a very few professing a non-Catholic faith. The Creoles' image of economic independence is rooted in the socioeconomic conditions of free people of color before the Civil War. Creoles of color were slave owners, land owners, and skilled laborers. Of the 1, free Negro heads of households in New Orleans in , owned at least one slave. New Orleans persons of color were far wealthier, more secure, and more established than blacks elsewhere in Louisiana.

Economic independence is highly valued in the colored Creole community. Being on welfare is a source of embarrassment, and many of those who receive government aid eventually drop out of the community. African Americans with steady jobs, respectable professions, or financial independence frequently marry into the community and become Creole, at least by association. Creoles of color and black Creoles have been quick to adapt strategies that maintain their elite status throughout changing economic conditions. Most significant is the push to acquire higher education.

Accelerated education has allowed Creoles to move into New Orleans' more prestigious neighborhoods, first to Gentilly, then to Pontchartrain Park, and more recently to New Orleans East. During the first few years of statehood, native Creoles were not particularly interested in national politics and the newly arrived Americans were far too busy securing an economic basis to seriously care much about political problems. Many Creoles were still suspicious of the American system and were prejudiced against it.

Until the election of , the paramount issue in state elections was whether the candidate was Creole or Anglo-American. Throughout this period, many English-speaking Americans believed that Creoles were opposed to development and progress, while the Creoles considered other Americans radical in their political ideas. Since then, Creoles have actively participated in American politics; they have learned English to ease this process. In fact, Creoles of color have dominated New Orleans politics since the election of Ernest "Dutch" Morial as mayor. He was followed in office by Sidney Bartholemey and then by his son, Marc Morial. During the War of , many Creoles did not support the state militia. However, during the first session of Louisiana's first legislature in , the legislature approved the formation of a corps of volunteers manned by Louisiana's free men of color.

The Act of Incorporation specified that the colored militiamen were to be chosen from among the Creoles who had paid a state tax. Some slaves participated at the Battle of New Orleans, under General Andrew Jackson, and he awarded them their freedom for their valor. Many became known as "Free Jacks" because only the word "Free" and the first five letters of Jackson's signature, "Jacks," were legible. In and Paul Morphy was the unofficial but universally acknowledged chess champion of the world.

While he is little known outside chess circles, more than 18 books have been written about Morphy and his chess strategies. Kate O'Flaherty Chopin was born in St. Louis; her father was an Irish immigrant and her mother was descended from an old French Creole family in Missouri. In she married Oscar Chopin, a native of Louisiana, and moved there; after her husband's death, she began to write. Chopin's best-known works deal with Creoles; she also wrote short stories for children in The Youth's Companion. Bayou Folk and The Awakening are her most popular works. Armand Lanusse was perhaps the earliest Creole of color to write and publish poetry. There he, along with 17 others, produced an anthology of Negro poetry, Les Cenelles.

Beauregard was twice wounded in that conflict. He served as chief engineer in the draining of the site of New Orleans from to Sumter in He was elected Superintendent of West Point in Louis Moreau Gottschalk , was a pianist and composer born in New Orleans. Moreau went to Paris at age 13 to study music. He became a great success in Europe at an early age and spent most of his time performing in concerts to support members of his family. An important figure in the history and development of American jazz, "Jelly Roll" Ferdinand Joseph Lementhe Morton , was a jazz musician and composer born in New Orleans to Creole parents.

As a child, he was greatly influenced by performances at the French Opera House. Morton later played piano in Storyville's brothels; these, too, provided material for his compositions. Founded in , this general newspaper for the African American community contains frequent articles about Creoles. Address: Jo-Val, Inc. Black community newspaper published since , which contains frequent articles about Creoles. Features a weekly Creole broadcast with African American programming, news, and Zydeco music. Formerly Creole Ethnic Association. It provides family trees and makes available to its members books and archival material. Holds an annual convention.

Address: P. Independent, nonprofit research library, archive, and museum established by the American Missionary Association and six of its affiliated colleges. Collects primary source materials pertaining to the history and arts of American ethnic groups, including a substantial collection regarding Creoles. Address: Tulane University, St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana Collects furniture, furnishings, and artifacts relating to the educational, religious, social, and economic life of Creoles. Contains agricultural tools, doctor's office with instruments, and a blacksmith shop. Guided tours, lectures for study groups, and permanent exhibits.

Collects Louisiana Creole period furnishings, furniture, and ornaments for display in a Creole house. Studies include Haitian and linguistic and related educational issues, and French-based Creoles. Contains local history and exhibits, tools for various trades, and historic buildings. Conducts guided tours, provides lectures, and has an organized education program. Ancelet, Barry Jane, Jay D. Edwards, and Glen Pitre. Globalization has also lead to the rapid growth of Multinational corporations. Access to cheap labor and control over scarce resources has made these multinational corporations the global monopolies giving them an upper hand advantage when competing on an international scale. This has caused economic inequality by stunting the growth of infant industries.

International lenders give loans to the multinational companies operating in a country and are less likely to invest in local businesses, giving an advantage to international firms. This increases the dependence of Global South on the Global North for development aid. As a result, the disparities between the rich and the poor continue to increase as income gaps widen. Lastly, globalization has also resulted in increase in poverty, and in gender inequalities.

Micro-finance and De-growth have been implemented by global south to combat these inequalities. Micro-finance can alleviate poverty because micro-financing banks give small-scale loans to poor people with no fixed earnings who can borrow without collaterals to make profit. Money is easily accessible and it supports a lot of small-scale businesses.

Micro-financing banks teach financial literacy and have financial consultants who educate people how to spend money effectively and wisely. It also addresses social issues such as women empowerment because women have the same access to these funds as men. However, micro financing has few limitations. In micro financing, cash flow is comparatively less flexible and more formal than it is in traditional methods of borrowing and lending.

It isn't a permanent solution for poverty alleviation, as it doesn't solve a lot of other social conflicts such as high mortality rates. Poor people that borrow for income generating purposes, often land up in more debt. They are not able to repay because of high interest rates of micro-financing banks. Lastly, due to micro financing, the money flows out of the poor community. Normally, when a person borrows from individuals and repays back, the money circulates and flows in the same community.

The out flow of money can cause other poor families in the community to suffer. De-growth movement is a way of achieving prosperity without growth through downscaling overconsumption, maximizing happiness and promoting sustainable lifestyle. Economic growth is believed to help in the creation of money, increase employment and overall standard of living hence the economic liberalists believe that de-growth is not an effective method of improving quality of life. De-growth opposes economic growth and may result in a recession.

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