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Wartime and Postwar Creole Migration to California

Wartime and Postwar Creole Migration to California

(p.49) Chapter Four Wartime and Postwar Creole Migration to California
Cajun and Zydeco Dance Music in Northern California
Mark F. DeWitt
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter first discusses how a reversal in negative views of Cajun ethnic identity began during World War II. The creation of a more positively defined Cajun ethnicity gained momentum during the 1960s, when it became part of a wider “new ethnicity” movement that appeared across the United States in conjunction with the civil rights movement. As Cajun ethnicity came to be seen in a more positive light, the image of the Cajun who works hard and plays hard became an available role model for those seeking cathartic release in a leisure activity. The chapter then profiles key figures in the musical life of the immigrant Louisiana French community in northern California, and describes black and Creole migration from the South to California during and after World War II.

Keywords:   Cajun, zydeco dance scene, northern California, ethnic identity, civil rights movement, Creoles, immigrants

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