Tag Archives: Black-Studies-in-Panama

What’s in Store for the New Year?

A Blessed and Regenerating New Year to all our readers and supporters!

by Lydia M. Reid

As we approach our second year with our Silver People Heritage site we are conscious of our need to make it easier to use and for it to be more inclusive of the information and stories we wish to share with you, our respected readers.  On that note we want to announce the addition of three new sections that promise to be closer to what we want this web site to be including features our readers have been asking for. Continue reading

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Compiling a Library of the History of Blacks

This is the place where I spent long and fruitful hours full of exciting discoveries, the New York Public Library reading room in the heart of Manhattan.

This is the place where I spent long and fruitful hours full of exciting discoveries, the New York Public Library reading room in the heart of Manhattan.

Practically all of my experiences at gaining information regarding Blacks in this continent of the Americas have been fraught with frustrations. Some of the most famous and reliable libraries and archives have no registry for the history of Blacks or of people of African descent. So it has continued to be until our day here in a country like Panama where Blacks have been the virtual source of labor since the 16th century. Continue reading

The Shaping of Black Literature and Culture

Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés, or Plácido, as he preferred to be called.

Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés, or Plácido, as he preferred to be called.

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg or Arthur Schomburg, as he was known on the mainland.

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg or Arthur Schomburg, as he was known on the mainland.

The academic community in most countries of the Americas continues to shy away from integrating into their universal educational systems or even their Institutes of Black or Ethnic Studies, such studies that would make up the core curriculum of disciplines that would inform and shape their students regarding the distinctiveness of people of color and their cultures in the world. To even dream of the day when the old school of tenured professors would see in their given disciplines a change of view that would correct the idea that people of color are today viable citizens and, contrary to their fixed notions, are no longer the former “slave class,” seems to be too much to ask. Continue reading

The Road to Westindian Literature- Some Thoughts

The Black Studies thinker and Writer.

The Black Studies thinker and Writer.

The road to the placing of real Black Literature in the hands of Black and Latin American children has been paved with much difficulty and many disheartening experiences, at least in my own experience. The age for our people, the Panamanian Westindian, to gain that realization of the harm that such deprivation causes, like not having literature depicting our own stories and our own experiences available from early childhood, is something I have been observing, and lamenting, since I was a young child. Continue reading

Black Ethnicity Day Celebration in Panama

The Celebration of the Diablitos and Congos in Porto Belo, Colon.

The Celebration of the Diablitos and Congos in Porto Belo, Colon.


The Afro-Antillean Museum in downtown Panama City in the District of Calidonia.

The Afro-Antillean Museum in downtown Panama City in the District of Calidonia.

The fact that Black Ethnicity is being celebrated yearly on the 30th of May in Panama has now a permanent place in our culturally diverse country. There is, however, a special history behind the development of the recognition of our ethnic identity which for so long was denied. The person responsible for the events being celebrated until now hailed from the Province of Chiriqui and the historical background behind the celebration of this national holiday has made it possible to highlight the abolition of slavery in 1851 in our country of Panama during the period in which it was united with the country of Colombia, then called Nueva Granada. Continue reading