The Mystery of Malcolm X by Massaquoi

By Massaquoi

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Domingue refugees of color across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We focus on the experience of refugees and their descendants who were free people of color. Like their white counterparts, members of this group also integrated into Louisiana’s already existing Creole community. Their French-​speaking, Catholic background and free status contrasted greatly with that of Anglo-​ blacks who were English speaking, Protestant, and more likely to be enslaved.  E. 24 We examine this group’s struggle across the nineteenth century to position themselves with respect to Anglo–​African Americans.

In Chapter 6, we compare the contemporary experience of white Creoles to that of Creoles of African descent. Whereas Creoles of color were slower than whites to adopt an Anglo-​American approach to race, changing conceptions of blackness during and after the Civil Rights and Black Power movements challenged Creole identity and made it more difficult for some Creoles of color to see themselves as distinct from other black Americans. This changing political landscape also led many Creoles of color to take a more critical stance toward issues of color, class, and inequality within black communities in the United States, and to identify themselves as black.

As we reflect on the different experiences of white and black St. Domingue/​Haiti descendants and consider the ways current immigrants’ 18 ( 18 ) American Routes experiences mirror them, the discussion reaffirms the importance of resuscitating alternative historiographies of people of color and of moving away from reliance on analytical tools originally developed to make sense of the situation of European immigrants. Finally, after considering the implications of the book for the ways we study immigration, we conclude by drawing some practical lessons for working toward greater racial equality within areas characterized by layered racial systems that contain alternative social and political logics.

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