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The Politics of Race in Panama – Afro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention - Florida Scholarship Online
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The Politics of Race in Panama: Afro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention

Sonja Stephenson Watson


This book tells the story of Afro-Hispanics whose ancestors came as African slaves during the colonial period and West Indians who emigrated from the English-speaking countries of Jamaica and Barbados to build the Panama Railroad and Canal during the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Earlier nation-building rhetoric (1880–1920) excluded black identity from the Panamanian national paradigm, which explains why Afro-Hispanics assimilated after centuries of mestizaje (race-mixing) and overwhelmingly identify with their Panamanian (Spanish) heritage, while West Indians clung to their Br ... More

Keywords: Afro-Hispanics, West Indians, Mestizaje, Afro-Panamanian, Black identity, Panama Canal, Panama Railroad, Nation-building rhetoric

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780813049861
Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049861.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sonja Stephenson Watson, author