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Creole: The History and Legacy of…

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

by Sybil Kein

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This university press collection of essays both historical and contemporary addresses multiple aspects of lives of free Creole people of color of New Orleans mainly in the nineteenth century with occasional jumps to the twentieth. Topics include food, labor, Marie Laveau, language, race, and many others. Perhaps the only poorly developed theme was that of religion; while reference is made to the mostly Catholic faith of the Creoles, the influence of African belief systems, and the influx of Anglo-American Protestants, no one essay explores how this interaction shaped the lives of the Creoles. The collection is marred by some academic gobbledy-gook substituting long tired words for analysis and occasional specious reasoning from the facts presented (for example, the author of one essay on “passing” as white stated boldly that most blacks who could “pass” did not want to … but then goes on to cite many counterexamples as well as economic data showing the gains to be made by so passing, which undermined the author’s conclusion). In general, however, this was a readable collection providing decent depth on the given topic and raises questions about a future more mixed-race America. ( )
  Bostonseanachie | Dec 14, 2016 |
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