The following article was written by Fred Brooks, a member of our Facebook group Afro-Heritage of Panama. We loved it as it embodies the same sense of urgency we feel about recognizing the contributions of our Silver People of Panama. We thank Mr. Brooks for permitting us to reprint his essay here on our Chronicle. Please read it and share with as many people as possible. Continue reading
If not to anyone else, it has been proven to me that, without a doubt, the Silver Men absorbed most of the psychological damage of working in an oppressive segregated system and in a generally difficult work environment. The legendary Silver Men who comprised the vast majority of the Panama Canal Zone labor force earned the honor of being unique workmen- tough, versatile, resilient and loyal. Continue reading
My paternal grandmother, Fanny Elizabeth McKenly Reid.
Fanny Elizabeth Reid, my grandmother,
who was born in Jamaica and worked in the
Ancon Laundry for over 20 years.
In her interview she told us her side of the story.
My Aunts, Gwendolyn (left) and Berenice Reid,
the youngest and oldest, respectively, of Fanny Reid’s children.
As we’ve already established, the first two decades of the 20th century began a new era in Panamanian as well as world history with the monumental construction and the subsequent opening of the Great Waterway in 1914. We’ve also established the crucial role of the West Indians in this grand drama and how their role as players was not without an equally monumental price. Continue reading