challenges of poverty, … distinct cultures—Cajun, American and French...
Sidney “Pierre” Bellard has lived a most unusual life. His first language was Cajun French, and of his father’s lineage, he was the first to be a high school and college graduate. His Cajun parents spoke only a little broken English and could only write their names. No, they were not recent immigrants. Their ancestors had been in America before there was a United States or the state of Louisiana.
While most subsequent immigrants to America achieved assimilation within two generations, Pierre’s direct paternal family line, due to isolation and subsequent sharecropper lifestyle, took at least ten generations before one of its members, Pierre, achieved assimilation in the 1960’s.
Travel with Pierre on his journey to three assimilations into three distinct cultures—Cajun, American and French—where he encounters challenges such as the language barrier, lack of familial educational values, relative poverty, discrimination and the chains of insecurity. Eventually, he developed two major drives that were antithetical to each other, two drives he did not become fully aware of until the writing of this book. The first was to master the English language and the second was to achieve literacy in standard French.
Except for Native Americans, everyone in the New World is an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants. It is the author’s desire that readers will become aware of their heritage and respect the difficult transitions their ancestors endured to achieve the American dream and make their lives, as they know it, possible. Also, the reader is invited to discover France and its people through the author’s experiences and impressions, experiences there that have enriched his life immeasurably. Finally, as a lagniappe (a little something extra), Pierre has included some of his personal Cajun recipes.