Politics of Race in Panama

  • University Press of Florida
  • 2014
  • 192
  • eng
  • Udgave er ikke defineret
  • 9780813048857
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Sonja Watson examines the writing of black Panamanian authors to reveal how race is defined, contested, and inscribed in Panama. She tells the story of two competing cultures: Afro-Hispanics whose ancestors came as slaves during the colonial period and West Indians whose families arrived more recently from English-speaking Caribbean countries to build the Panama Railroad and Panama Canal.While Afro-Hispanics assimilated after centuries of mestizaje (race mixing) and now identify with their Spanish heritage, West Indians hold to their British Caribbean roots and identify more closely with Africa and the Caribbean. The literature discussed in this book displays the cultural, racial, and national tensions that prevent these two groups from forging a shared Afro-Panamanian identity. The Politics of Race in Panama shows why ethnically diverse Afro-descendant populations continue to struggle to create racial unity in nations across Latin America.