Tag Archives: racism-in-Panama

My Wake Up Call

Image thanks to Debbie Dunn’s blog.

 

During this period of time in Panama everything that entailed the education of the children of the poor or lower middle class of our Republic such as acceptance or denial on any level were crucial elements to factor into the equation. After all, in many of our homes, as I stated before, education beyond the sixth grade was looked upon as an unaffordable luxury. Continue reading

Panama’s 2010 Census Promises to be Interesting for Persons of African and Indigenous Descent

Image translates to read, “As the Canal is Enlarged,
We Will be Counted in 2010”

by
Lydia M. Reid

This year’s Census will be conducted on Sunday May 16, 2010 beginning at the hour of midnight May 15 and ending officially at 7:30 PM on May 16, 2010. The entire operation is governed by the Contraloría General de la República, Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo. Continue reading

Growing Public Outcry Against Racism

You have only to replace these Jim Crow
“White” or “Colored” Only signs with Gold or
Silver signs and they would be identical with
what it was like in The Panama Canal Zone.

It was a challenging time in the history of the Westindian Panamanian community when their youngsters were blatantly being denied an opportunity for an education. They would, as I’ve pointed out, receive additional and much needed support from other civic and political institutions as well. Continue reading

The Westindian Community Receives Assistance

My school, Pedro J. Sosa, founded in 1933,
was one of the schools at the center of the
storm of racial persecution by their own
teachers against children of Westindian
descent.

The 1946 laws, reinforcing the exclusionary and rejecting policies of the 1941 Constitution, could not be clearer. Schools were a business and Westindians were not at all welcomed as businessmen. Nor were they organized enough to gain the economic power to meet the requirements individually. As I’ve noted before, this was a time when there were no banks and the Banco Nacional was basically off limits to Westindians. At any rate, the $15,000 required to start any business was certainly not available to open any English School. Continue reading

The Panamanian News Media Speaks Out Against Racism

The famous Norman Rockwell painting that underscored the highly charged school desegregation issue in the U.S. Panama was dealing with the problem long before with the case of the Westindian children.

The famous Norman Rockwell painting
that underscored the highly charged school
desegregation issue in the U.S.  Panama was
dealing with the problem long before with the
case of the Westindian children.

The meeting between Westindian parents and the Spanish teachers in my school, Pedro J. Sosa, it seemed, was only just the beginning in the battles against racism in our schools here in Panama. The battle cry went out amongst all Black parents that were having difficulties with harassment from school authorities regarding the acceptance of their children in publicly funded schools. Continue reading

A Short Trip Back to Our Roots

Here we are, Aminta, little Earnie and me,
on that fateful day

standing right next to my father,
Cobert Sr.’s, Studebaker while
we smile dutifully for the snap shot.
The park behind us is Parque Melendez.

The day finally arrived when we, as children, would once again be blessed with connecting with our maternal grandparents in Colon. Only four years had transpired since my sister and I had been surreptitiously (to me anyway) stolen away from the affection and care of our Naní and my beloved grandfather, Seymour, to be placed in the precarious care of my parents in Panama City; a period during which at least one of us had not survived. Continue reading