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The Politics of Race in PanamaAfro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention$
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Sonja Stephenson Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049861

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049861.001.0001

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Forging Afro-Panamanian Identity?

Forging Afro-Panamanian Identity?

(p.144) Conclusion Forging Afro-Panamanian Identity?
The Politics of Race in Panama

Sonja Stephenson Watson

University Press of Florida

This chapter concludes that the forging of Afro-Panamanian identity continues to be complicated by perceptions of cultural, racial, and national identity that are shaped by ideologies of mestizaje and blackness. Literature prior to 1960 in Panama is primarily that of Afro-Hispanics while after 1960 West Indians voice their concerns and react to racist nation-building rhetoric directed at them. The split in Afro-Panamanian literature illustrates the cultural and racial fragmentation and the ideological shift from mestizaje-orientated to black. However, recent literature by writers born after 1970 conveys a hybrid (black) Panamanian identity that speaks to the process of becoming (Afro) Panamanian.

Keywords:   Mestizaje, Blackness, Cultural identity

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