Tag Archives: Pedro-J.-Sosa-school

A Hard Year

Black girls as much as Black boys,
had to deal with depression as it was
very widespread amongst Westindian
adolescents. Image

By the end of 1950 I was almost sure to be graduating from my sixth grade class at Escuela Pedro J. Sosa. And yet, I felt peculiarly imprisoned, in stir, as a prison-like attitude dominated my thoughts. My teachers had a lot to do with these feelings as they were pretty hard faced and indiscreet about openly rejecting the Westindian youngsters like me. Continue reading

First Experiences in Spanish Schools

This is a bust of the venerable Pedro J. Sosa
that sits perched atop a column with the inscription:
“Ing Pedro J. Sosa, 1851-1898 Valuable factor in the
construction of the Panama Canal”


Some time after going to live with my grandmother and aunts both Aminta and I would be officially enrolled in “Spanish” school in one of the few schools that were being opened by the national government for Panamanian children. My first official school was the Pedro J. Sosa
primary school. Pedro J. Sosa, I came to find out, had been a Panamanian civil engineer who had worked alongside the American surveyors long before the Canal construction by the Yankees was initiated in 1903. Continue reading

To Be Young, Gifted and… Westindian

Joe Louis, World Heavyweight Champion
image thanks to www.boxrec.com


The National Institute or
Instituto Nacional de Panamá represented for my Uncle Eric Reid, as well as many other intellectually gifted Panamanian Westindian youth, a great challenge in their careful but determined ascent up the ladder of success. He, along with a few other hardy souls, would brave the volatile and hostile political climate to even consider entering government sponsored secondary education and plan ahead to university education. Continue reading