Historically, “Creole” was not a racial signifier, but rather a pan-racial, place-based ethnicity, with the unifying commonality being local nativity. All those who went by this term were “from here,” as opposed to those who arrived from elsewhere, either as immigrants, migrants, refugees, transients, or victims of the slave trade.
- “Creole” is also used as adjective. “Creole cooking,” for example, meant local cuisine; “Creole tomatoes” were those grow locally; and “Creole architecture” meant the building styles and construction techniques of the Creole community.
- Today, someone who self-identifies as Creole in New Orleans is likely to be a person of mixed racial ancestry, with deep local roots, and with family members who are Catholic and probably have French-sounding surnames—that is, Franco-African Americans. Many Black Creoles live in and near the Seventh Ward, not too far from the historic Creole areas around the French Quarter.
- To learn more about New Orleans Creole history, click the following link:https://www.neworleans.com/things-to-do/multicultural/cultures/creoles/
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