When the revolution occurred in Haiti, many Haitians fled to...

Makandal - February 22 2012, 7:22 PM

When the revolution occurred in Haiti, many Haitians fled to New Orleans.

Being a French colony originally (it had been turned over to Spain), a large percentage of the population of Louisiana already practiced customs that originated in France.

Haitians added their culture, which is why popular events such as Mardi Gras have distinct Haitian overtones.

After 1803 when the Louisiana Purchase took place, more Haitians arrived and the population doubled within a few years.

Much of the music, religion and food that people associate with New Orleans arrived with the Haitians.

Haitians who came to Louisiana called themselves Creoles of color to separate themselves from the black slave population.

They were an educated class that were musicians, teachers, doctors, writers and artists who enjoyed economic prosperity.

They were French speaking, part Latin (French or Spanish) and very proud of their heritage.

In "Creoles," Helen Bush Caver and Mary T. Williams state, "Many young Creoles of color today live under pressure to identify themselves as African Americans.

Like it or not you're all still the descendants of Haitian.

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