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Portrait of the mulatto André Rigaud.
Mulatto (also Mulato; Haitian Creole: milat, French: mûlatre ) is the Spanish/Portuguese word for mule, describing in a derogatory manner the offspring of African and European ancestry (mixed). Mulattos, during French colonialism in Saint-Domingue, had a lower social status than the white colonialists and considerably less rights; however, some were slave holders and have held power in post revolutionary Haiti to this day. Some estimate the "Métis" are currently five percent of Haiti's total population.

Many métis played important roles in the Haitian Revolution. Their goals as a class often coincided with that of the slaves fighting for their freedom 1 , many such as Vincent Ogé and Louis Boisrond Tonnerre became an integral part of the struggle against the French colonial power and slavery.

Note: the plural of mulatto is either mulattoes or mulattos. (American Heritage Dictionary)

It should be again noted that the term "mulatto" was used by colonialists as a derogatory term just as nigger was used in the times of slavery in the United States. The correct term to be used is metis or mixed. However, "mulatto" is still widely used.

Note 1: For example André Rigaud, defending métis interests, fought the War of Knives against the troops of Toussaint Louverture.

See also

  • Le Code Noir - French document regulating racial distinctions in its colonial societies.
  • Affranchis - The affranchi were light-skinned free persons of color, mostly the offspring of white French men and African women.
  • History of the Disasters in Saint-Domingue - Account of the start of the Haitian Revolution, mentions the involvement of métis.
  • Category:Mulattoes - Alphabetical list of all mulattos in the who's who category.

External links

  • The Tragic Mulatto Myth - article by Dr. David Pilgrim from The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University. This article concerns views of mixed race people within the United States, conditions in Haiti or Saint Domingue were obviously different but issues relating to race have common threads throughout the Hemisphere and the African diaspora. Retrieved 21.00, December 7, 2009.


  • Mulatto. (2005, December 4). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:27, December 5, 2005 [1].
  • Mulatto. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved December 13, 2005, from [2].