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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Louisiana Redbones

I've read this article about one of many tri-racial isolated groups that existed in the South. One of them was the Louisiana Redbones. These people of multi-racial origins migrated to Texas and Louisiana from the states of Virginia, North Carolina,South Carolina(the old colonial states). A lot of the "redbone" names that appear are the same exact names that appear in Paul Heinbeggs Book and website on Free African Americans in the Colonial south. some of those redbone names that appear are Bass, Sweat, Johnson, and Cumbo. I talked to someone who was a descendent of the free Johnsons that left Virginia and came to Northeast Louisiana near Natchitoches Parish. A lot of these redbone people claim moorish and turkish or native american ancestry though. But I think it was a combination of Native,African, and Europeaon ancestry. Some of these people assimilated into the white population. Others married into the creoles of color population. John Shivers(Chavis) shows up as a mulatto on the 1792 Opelousas census of free mulattoes and negroes. I guess Louisiana was a safe haven for these free people of color who fled the oppression and hardships they experienced due to their status in the American South.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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