Omowale Jabali : Strange Fruit From The Family Tree

Omowale Jabali

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I will check the link out. I am currently trying to track down my father's side of my picture. With the limited knowledge that I have of him with only his name. I have my work cut out for me.
:toast:

Best wishes in your Journey!
 

SlickBeast

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I have spent over 20 years researching all sides of my family history. I know. Some of you have heard or read about this before. In the course of this research, I have had to accept some disturbing facts. Mostly related to the legacy of slavery. Yeah. Here we go again. Not really though. This post is a little different. Its about one slave master in particular who shows up in my family tree. After all these years, I can no longer ignore him or pretend he does not exist. I discovered him recently while digging through my Louisiana roots. As I was searching through the records for a branch of my family named "St.Martin", I was led to some Louisiana Slave Records, which opened the door that I was searching for. The path through Saint Dominique (prior to the Haitian Revolution) back to the Congo. The deeper I go into the path, the more that is revealed to me, so please excuse me if I seem "strange" to you.
So you are part French?
 

Omowale Jabali

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So you are part French?

I am obviously of mixed ancestry. I have several posts here where I have shared my genealogy reports under the titles Introduction to the Bible With Complexion, The Jabali Manuscript, and From the Sons of God to the Sons of Man.

Most Black people I know with ancestry from Louisiana have some French and Spanish somewhere in their familial lineage.
 

skuderjaymes

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I'd like to know about what a GRIF is, if you have time to educate or at least point me to some material to read up on the subject.

Thanks
It was a term used in Louisiana Slave schedules for an African/Native American mix. I have found no other reference for this term.
Peace Omowalejabali and Houserunner..

Really interesting thread. I found an interesting reference on Google books about the term GRIF. It's from the book "Africans In Colonial Louisiana, the development of Afro-Creole culture in the 18th century".

It says on Page 262,

"The Pointe Coupee documents distinguish four racial categories among people of African descent: negre, mulatre, grif and quarteron. Negre meant entirely black; mulatre meant half white and half black; grif meant mixture of black and indian; quarteron meant three quarters white and one-quarter black. The use of the term grif reflects legal concerns as well as problems of definition. A significant number of creole slaves, especially the first generation, had Indian mothers. Slaves who were descendants of Indians were rarely acknowledged as such in the lists of slaves, for a practical reason: Indian slavery was prohibited under Spanish law, and therefore, slaves descended from Indian women were legally entitled to their freedom. One can safely concluded that those slaves listend in the Pointe Coupee inventories as grif were on a fraction of the slaves who were mixtures of blacks and Indians. by the early 1790's, grif slaves disappeared entirely from the Pointe Coupee lists and mulatto slaves increased, indicating a redefinition to prevent slaves descended from Indian Mothers from claiming their freedom under Spanish law."

http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=Arybfb4UWtwC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA262&dq=GRIF++Slavery+term&source=bl&ots=EhlpvGv2pI&sig=zZtVtvAb43ScdQ5xl7bBrEvc_tg&hl=ja&sa=X&ei=5Vl4T5xnjOOYBfHV8OkP&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA


..and that same search netted a connection between Louisiana and the Congo.

During this period [SPANISH PERIOD (1764-1803)], the cultural composition of Louisianians became more complex. For starters, the Spanish Crown sought slaves who were not Muslims, which accounted for a massively Congo presence within the local slave population. The Congos were from what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo. Historian Gwendolyn Midlo-Hall noted in a radio interview that during this period, many of the slave households consisted of Wolof wives and Congo husbands, which I have substantiated in extant civil and parochial records.

http://christophelandry.com/2011/02/04/louisiana-myths-quadroons-octoroons/
 

Omowale Jabali

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Peace Omowalejabali and Houserunner..

Really interesting thread. I found an interesting reference on Google books about the term GRIF. It's from the book "Africans In Colonial Louisiana, the development of Afro-Creole culture in the 18th century".

It says on Page 262,

"The Pointe Coupee documents distinguish four racial categories among people of African descent: negre, mulatre, grif and quarteron. Negre meant entirely black; mulatre meant half white and half black; grif meant mixture of black and indian; quarteron meant three quarters white and one-quarter black. The use of the term grif reflects legal concerns as well as problems of definition. A significant number of creole slaves, especially the first generation, had Indian mothers. Slaves who were descendants of Indians were rarely acknowledged as such in the lists of slaves, for a practical reason: Indian slavery was prohibited under Spanish law, and therefore, slaves descended from Indian women were legally entitled to their freedom. One can safely concluded that those slaves listend in the Pointe Coupee inventories as grif were on a fraction of the slaves who were mixtures of blacks and Indians. by the early 1790's, grif slaves disappeared entirely from the Pointe Coupee lists and mulatto slaves increased, indicating a redefinition to prevent slaves descended from Indian Mothers from claiming their freedom under Spanish law."

http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=Arybfb4UWtwC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA262&dq=GRIF Slavery term&source=bl&ots=EhlpvGv2pI&sig=zZtVtvAb43ScdQ5xl7bBrEvc_tg&hl=ja&sa=X&ei=5Vl4T5xnjOOYBfHV8OkP&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA


..and that same search netted a connection between Louisiana and the Congo.

During this period [SPANISH PERIOD (1764-1803)], the cultural composition of Louisianians became more complex. For starters, the Spanish Crown sought slaves who were not Muslims, which accounted for a massively Congo presence within the local slave population. The Congos were from what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo. Historian Gwendolyn Midlo-Hall noted in a radio interview that during this period, many of the slave households consisted of Wolof wives and Congo husbands, which I have substantiated in extant civil and parochial records.

http://christophelandry.com/2011/02/04/louisiana-myths-quadroons-octoroons/

Thank you brother as you have not only confirmed my own findings but you have also narrowed the field so to say. My Dad traced his own ancestry, or he claimed descent from Senegal and I know this had to mean Wolof or Bambara. The Wolof and Congolese mixture sounds more exact. My point though is that if we take that time period up to about 1803, due to migration into Louisiana as a result of the Haitian revolution, there was an influx of "Indians" of East Indian origin who, along with Africans from Cuba, Martinique, Guadalupe, Jamaica,etc, "free blacks" so to say, that changed the balance so much that it makes it nearly impossible to determine a single African lineage due to the long history of miscegenation between all groups.
 

Omowale Jabali

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Thank you brother as you have not only confirmed my own findings but you have also narrowed the field so to say. My Dad traced his own ancestry, or he claimed descent from Senegal and I know this had to mean Wolof or Bambara. The Wolof and Congolese mixture sounds more exact. My point though is that if we take that time period up to about 1803, due to migration into Louisiana as a result of the Haitian revolution, there was an influx of "Indians" of Eas Indian origin who, along with Africans from Cuba, Martinique, Guadalupe, Jamaica,etc, "free blacks" so to say, that changed the balance so much that it makes it nearly impossible to determine a single African lineage due to the long history of miscegenation between all groups.

In regards to brother Slickbeast's question, it must be noted that outside of the early French missionaries who went to settle Orleans Parish, the early French settlers were mainly fur traders who were not accompanied by their own women from the regions of New France from which they traveled down the Mississippi. This means that as they settled many took Indian women. It was not until they later settled into the Bayou that they transformed from fur traders and merchants into farmers, then plantation owners, primarily sugar plantation owners. It was then that they became involved in the trade of human trafficking. It is often assumed that mixed race Blacks were a result if black and white parentage. This is often overstated because many of the early free black men, who did represent a sizeable population in Louisiana often took the same "Indian" women for mates. This accounts for the term Creole as it meant someone who was essentially triracial. In other regions their relatives are known as Metis or Melungeon.

Strange fruit indeed. Imagine a fruit bearing tree with mixed fruit. Not all is sweet but that is life. We have to take the bitter with the sweet.
http://blkrootsworker.blogspot.com/2012/04/book-of-leodious.html
 

houserunner

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Peace Omowalejabali and Houserunner..

Really interesting thread. I found an interesting reference on Google books about the term GRIF. It's from the book "Africans In Colonial Louisiana, the development of Afro-Creole culture in the 18th century".

It says on Page 262,

"The Pointe Coupee documents distinguish four racial categories among people of African descent: negre, mulatre, grif and quarteron. Negre meant entirely black; mulatre meant half white and half black; grif meant mixture of black and indian; quarteron meant three quarters white and one-quarter black. The use of the term grif reflects legal concerns as well as problems of definition. A significant number of creole slaves, especially the first generation, had Indian mothers. Slaves who were descendants of Indians were rarely acknowledged as such in the lists of slaves, for a practical reason: Indian slavery was prohibited under Spanish law, and therefore, slaves descended from Indian women were legally entitled to their freedom. One can safely concluded that those slaves listend in the Pointe Coupee inventories as grif were on a fraction of the slaves who were mixtures of blacks and Indians. by the early 1790's, grif slaves disappeared entirely from the Pointe Coupee lists and mulatto slaves increased, indicating a redefinition to prevent slaves descended from Indian Mothers from claiming their freedom under Spanish law."

http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=Arybfb4UWtwC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA262&dq=GRIF Slavery term&source=bl&ots=EhlpvGv2pI&sig=zZtVtvAb43ScdQ5xl7bBrEvc_tg&hl=ja&sa=X&ei=5Vl4T5xnjOOYBfHV8OkP&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA


..and that same search netted a connection between Louisiana and the Congo.

During this period [SPANISH PERIOD (1764-1803)], the cultural composition of Louisianians became more complex. For starters, the Spanish Crown sought slaves who were not Muslims, which accounted for a massively Congo presence within the local slave population. The Congos were from what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo. Historian Gwendolyn Midlo-Hall noted in a radio interview that during this period, many of the slave households consisted of Wolof wives and Congo husbands, which I have substantiated in extant civil and parochial records.

http://christophelandry.com/2011/02/04/louisiana-myths-quadroons-octoroons/

Thanks for the added research.
 

cherryblossom

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I actually just found a variant of the same word with different spelling in the urban dictionary online.

griffe

Creole, Griffe, Cajun, Mulatto, etc..

...Louisiana Creole is a combination of French, Spanish, and some African languages with a smack of Anglais (English). Overall, it is French based so it's safe to say that Creole is a pidginized form of Provencal French, yeh.

This definition is a good description of griffe, although of course it's not that fixed on the ground, ya dig. A griffe is Louisiana's form of a tri-racial person and especially a tri-racial isolate. Some people call griffes Black Frenchman or it Louisiana form, Black Franchmen (said especially fast). By some accounts, I could be considered a griffe as well as a Creole. Depending on whom you're speaking to.

In short, and I can go into greater detail, a griffe is a Black person with a significant Native descent and some European.

The typical Louisiana mix of a griffe is Wolof/Hal-pulaar, Bambara/Mande, Ewe/Fon or Mbundu for the African part and either Choctaw, Chitimacha, Houma or Biloxi for the First Nation addition with French or Spanish.

A Creole, in it's strictest sense, is a mixed person from a homogeneous community. Creoles are mainly descendants of African female slaves and white French or Spanish men. What happened to create them is two mulattoes would intermarry or a mulatto and a white person. Their descendants would only marry people like themselves - mixed Black/white - or only white people. This pattern would continue until you have a new class of people. Your quadroon and octoroon would fit in this case. Homer Plessy of the infamous Plessy vs Ferguson case was a typical example of a "true" Creole being only 1/8th Black and 7/8ths White. Many Creoles have cafe au lait skin color, brunet wavy hair and otherwise mainly European features. Most creoles can pass for white on a bad day.

A mulatto is, of course, a first generation person of Black and white ancestry.

A Cajun or "coon-*****" is just stone cold white. It's an insult to call anyone but a Cajun a Cajun. Those are fighting words for Black people. They are the descendants of French Canadians who migrated to Louisiana from Nova Scotia after the end of the French and Indian War.

...
 

Omowale Jabali

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