Here is an article that is close to my heart in that he personally touches me through what I hold dearest in the world: my children.
Since they are in the world, we thought it was very important to their father and I talk to them about their double culture, French and Senegalese and thereby of their identity as Métis we see as a richness, a strength.
However, arriving in Quebec, besides the fact that I am suddenly the eyes of a majority of Quebecers become the worthy representative of the French Nation (with all its stereotypes) and my husband turned into Haitian (the black community most represented in Montreal), my children have become mulatto …
Little history: the term “mulatto” dates from the time of slavery and designated children from the union of a white teacher with a black slave. “Mulatto,” “handful” or “octavon” the social status of these “half-breed” was conditioned by the degree of relationship with their black ancestor, a classification based on the blood and the concept of purity / impurity.
Worse, “mulatto” comes from the Portuguese and Spanish ( “mulatto” and “mulo”) and means “mule”. Indeed, slavery compared children born to their antics with black women, these hybrids and sterile animals, crossing a donkey and a mare:
In the spirit of the Masters, the children “mulattoes” were a bit like mules, beings from the union of two “races” neighbors.
I hope I have not bored you with this little background, which I consider essential in the understanding of my indignation.
My children are not “mulatto” and their only point in common with the above animal is their stubbornness (Têtues like mules!).
“Mulatto” is a word that ruffles my hair and I teach my children to correct the ignorant people who still use it (It’s a little more difficult when they are teachers).
One word: slavery was abolished in 1834 in Canada, in 1848 in France and 1865 in the United States. That’s 182 years since the country I chose to live decided that no man was the Master of another. And yet we continue to use this term in an unworthy when the names of black people that were part of the heritage inventory list, as well as animals and furniture.
There are a few times, we had fun to make this short film: “Mixed”. minute and thirty-two seconds explanation (note the ending is unexpected!)
Here, I’ll even go to a complainer (which will strengthen my fellow Quebecers in their perception of French in general), but as someone said very sensible (I think it’s Talleyrand) :
“It’s going better said!”