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American RoutesRacial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race$
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Angel Adams Parham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624750

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624750.001.0001

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date: 18 January 2019

Into the Twenty-First Century

Into the Twenty-First Century

Creoles of Color Finding Their Way

(p.154) Chapter 6 Into the Twenty-First Century
American Routes

Angel Adams Parham

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 examines the contemporary experience of Creoles of African descent. Changing conceptions of blackness during and after the civil rights and Black Power movements challenged Creole identity and made it more difficult for many Creoles of color to see themselves as distinct from other black Americans. These tensions are explored by examining the stories of Creoles of color as gathered from interviews and participant observation with Creole cultural organizations. These stories show three different responses Creoles of color have had to the pressures to assimilate to the binary US racial system: (1) adopt a black American identity; (2) pass as white; or (3) resist the categories of black and white. The chapter concludes by considering similarities between Louisiana’s Creoles of color and Latino immigrants of color who have experienced many of the same tensions and misunderstandings as they have struggled with Anglo-American conceptions of whiteness and blackness.

Keywords:   Creoles of color, racial system, Latino, immigrants, binary racial system

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