Pictured are Coach Carlos Belizaire, Sam LaBeach,
Cirilo McSween, Frank Prince
and Lloyd La Beach
Images thanks to the folks at Rainbow City H.S.
For most of us in the West Indian community residing in Panama very little is known concerning the immortal sprinter, Lloyd La Beach. The family of the extraordinary man child who survived to herald a mission for the Black youth of his time had a background similar to thousands of West Indian families as their men-folk ventured to that place called Panama with high hopes of escaping the slavery of economic privation. Continue reading
Images: Top Lloyd La Beach 1948 Olympic Champion.
Byron La Beach and his wife Violet,
standing before his brother’s niche
Samuel La Beach and his wife, Nell
Bottom: Mr. Victor Lopez and Ricardo Sasso and his wife
holding a newspaper article highlighting
Lolyd La beach’s exploits.
I would never be able to tell the story of Lloyd La Beach were it not for a kid I grew up with in the neighborhood of Calidonia here in Panama City. The 1948 Summer Olympic Games would have passed us by just as other Olympic games of our childhood had as the Westindian community of Panama traversed through some of the worst times in our history as a community in the country of Panama. During this war and post-war period it was really a continuation of when we were still vilified in the economy of the country of Panama as “those people” whose presence was responsible for placing a burden on the country’s meager resources. Continue reading