After Katrina, transplanted Creoles vow to keep culture alive

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press writer

LOS ANGELES — Wilda Little speaks Creole with her cousin two or three times a week and listens to her favorite zydeco bands on aging vinyl records, but that’s about as close as the Louisiana transplant gets these days to the Creole culture of her youth.
‘My children never learned Creole,’ said Little, 80. ‘They were never interested in that.’

Her culture has been in a long decline here, as zydeco dance halls shut down and native Creole speakers died. And now, Hurricane Katrina has dealt these remote outposts of shrimp gumbo and the zydeco two-step a devastating blow.

Creoles who live thousands of miles from the bayous of southern Louisiana suddenly find themselves uncertain ambassadors for a city — and a way of life — that is endangered.

‘We’re a part of that culture of New Orleans and now it’s gone,’ said Norwood Clark Jr., the owner of Uncle Darrow’s Creole and Cajun restaurant in Marina del Rey.


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