Tag Archives: Silver-Roll-schools

Social Control and the “Silver” Schools

Gold Roll school at Gatun 1912.


Silver Roll school at Empire 1912.

Images are of gold roll (top ) and “silver” schools (bottom)
between 1910 and 1912. Note the marked contrast.
The black children have no playground equipment in their yard.

Images thanks to www.czimages.com

As the Canal activities expanded and the growth of the Silver townships became a bigger factor in the evolution of the Canal Zone, methods of social control of the ever larger West Indian population in and out of the Zone became a greater issue to Canal authorities. One manifestation of this need to control was in the educational system for the
Westindian children. Continue reading

Social Control and Coping Mechanisms for the Silver Roll

The chain link fence around the “American Cemetery” in Corozal today is
reminiscent of the chain link fence of the Canal Zone

As our history of the Silver People unfolds these crucial times would become marked by a first generation of Westindian youth that would seek to develop their own coping mechanisms for the progressively tighter and systematic forces of social control imposed by the Canal Zone authorities. Since they had been born into a system that rejected them from birth to the grave they found some creative as well as direct and indirect ways of countering these negative forces in their lives. Many countered, if they could, by simply refusing to work on the Canal Zone. Continue reading

The First Generation of Panamanian Westindians 1914-1930

Sidney A. Young, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Panama Tribune- A Weekly Newspaper

San Miguel School in Panama
An ealy “English School” (circ. 1935)
Image courtesy of www.czbrats.com

The isolationist policies of the North Americans on the
Canal Zone forced another dispersion of some of the Jamaicans who had become aware that as Jamaicans their knowledge, skills and leadership qualities would, more than likely, not be appreciated on the “Zone.” Some Jamaicans, however, remained loyal to the Westindian community in the country remaining and setting the tone of leadership in the Black Canal Zone. Continue reading