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View Poll Results: Which country?
Brazil 26 37.14%
Cuba 23 32.86%
Colombia 3 4.29%
Venezeula 6 8.57%
Panama 12 17.14%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-02-2013, 01:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
Despite that it had a thriving black and mulato middle class, even if most were poor. Dont know if that would be true elsewhere in Latin Am, except for the DR where upwards of 80% of the population fall into those categories.

Maybe its this hostility which mobilized them to get a grpup identity that led to struggles for improvement.
Other Latin American countries had thriving middle classes of color as well. Notice though that it was often lighter skinned Afrodescendants that often were experiencing this mobility of higher up social ladder climbing though.

While Cuba had just as much segregation and open racism as USA, if not much more, there was NEVER any one drop rule in Cuba. South Africa didn't have a one drop rule either. That probably is another layer and added dynamic etc that's interesting to consider in a global context and all of these matters.

 
Old 11-02-2013, 02:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
Yet every description of Panama cites the West Indian descended population (most of Bajan descent). They are clearly more vocal than colonial blacks, whether or not they are more numerous.

In any case generations after that immigration ended its probably hard to completely separate the two groups as both will be Spanish dominant, and maybe intermarried.
I don't think it's necessarily about vocal-ness or soley about one group being more vocal. A lot of it stems from political semantics and flawed and skewed perceptions and also pressure. Colonial blacks are just as vocal but I think the tide and ploy of political semantics has made the term black in Panama to be perceived as being West Indian foreign and not traditional. So it's outsiders and others that will often view black as being West Indian. In addition the term gets misused which has often led to many colonial black Panamanian culture and traditions being falsely relabeled as West Indian, when it's NOT West Indian at all. It's similar to how foods that are not even eaten or known in Mexico are packaged as Mexican or Tex Mex or Cali Mex or Mexi food in the USA, or like how Louisiana Creole foods are marketed and labelled as Cajun foods when there really is no such thing as Cajun people or Cajun food when it's all really traditional Creole but that's another story and just an example.

Sometimes, it's basically a way for colonial blacks to be swept under the rug and used as a pawn and to keep blacks or the perception of blackness segregated from full integration into the model, and then when incidents of discrimination and racism come up or even classism, the government or others can deny such because then the argument is made that colonial blacks are true Panamanians, to show that cultural and language and class are the difference.

It is similar to how in Dominican Republic, the term of black is used often to refer to Haitians and descendants of Haitians in the DR, while it may not always be applied to black Dominicans and the descendants of the first original colonial black Dominicans. Another example is how many people in Cuba and outside say that Cuban blacks are really Jamaican and Haitian and not traditionally from Cuba, because there were lots of Jamaican and Haitian immigrants and laborers and workers that came to Cuba in the 19th and 20th centuries for various tasks and projects. But nonetheless most Cuban blacks and Afrodescendants in Cuba descend from slaves brought to Cuba between 1492 and 1887.

And yes, some colonial black Panamanians have intermarried with West Indian descendants and in addition many West Indian descendants assimilated, and many of the younger generations don't even know a lick of English. So it can be hard at times to tell. Only the very old school generation keeps on more to the old ways, but the newer generations are gradually and more fully more assimilated and Hispanicized.

Last edited by MelismaticEchoes; 11-02-2013 at 02:24 AM..
 
Old 11-02-2013, 02:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
Yet every description of Panama cites the West Indian descended population (most of Bajan descent). They are clearly more vocal than colonial blacks, whether or not they are more numerous.

In any case generations after that immigration ended its probably hard to completely separate the two groups as both will be Spanish dominant, and maybe intermarried.
If you do deep research, travel, and talk to the right people you'll find lots of information on colonial blacks and other related topics. You have to dig deeper and read between the lines.

Well that's because you have to dig deeper and read between the lines. You have to do deeper and in-depth research, and TRAVEL, and talk to the right people. You'll find tons of information on colonial blacks and other topics of interest if you take note of such.
 
Old 11-02-2013, 02:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
I have been told by Panamanian West Indian blacks that they are better off than the blacks who they called colonial blacks. And in this case it didnt mean "arrived during the colonial era", but "possessing a colonial mindset" because they were accused of being self hating blacks. Indeed much of the advocacy for black improvement seems to be led by those with English last names.

I will take this as a view held by some Panamanian West Indians and not as a fact. I have heard that Colon is a serious mess and that Panama is a tough place for any one of the varieties of blacks who live there as a small group of light skinned people dominate the upper levels and that light skinned mestizos are given preference even over the black Panamanian West Indians for mid level jobs, especially in their thriving corporate sector. And that Panamanian West Indians will agitate over this, well Afrocolonials will accept it as a fact of life.

I will be interested in hearing what those who know more about Panama have to say about this.
What are you talking about? You haven't the slightest clue of what you are talking about.*

The term colonial black IS indeed used to refer to blacks living in Panama since the beginning of or during the colonial period up until 1854. It also includes Black Colombians living in Panama as well, which Panama was apart of and attached to until 1903/1904 and officially until 1921/1922. It's often an ASSumed stereotype or perceived by some English speaking people that Latin peoples of color possess a more colonial mindset or is more anti black etc, even though the African diaspora in all areas of the globe has issues, as does any other groups including even white people.

Also keep in mind that the creation and independence of Panama was NOT of Panama or Panamanian peoples own making. The Panamanians did NOT want or ask to become it's own nation. It had no plans for independence. Panama as a nation came about as a French conception and idea along with support and collusion and backing with the USA and Colombian conservative party elites. Panama was created in Wall Street for profit abd to carve a Canal in and out of it. If USA was for the interest of Panamanian nationhood or the Department of Panama, they wouldn't have bribed and paid Colombian CONSERVATIVE elites (who could care less about the fate of Panama likewise) millions of dollars over multiple generations and continually spy on and violate international laws. It was only a tiny few members of the Colombian Liberal Party in the Department of Panama that stressed Panama to be autonomous but still part of Colombia and possibly independent to get it's own way with Colombia. Many departments and regions in Colombia demanded or brought up the idea of autonomy or possible independence from Colombia but they all very much just wanted more support and less turmoil and war and less negative division from the Colombian Liberal and Conservative parties. But there was no plans of independence from Colombia. The people that worked in collusion with the USA from Panama hadn't even been born in the Department of Panama but in the other parts of what is now modern day Colombia proper. So we have to take that into context.

In the beginning West Indian blacks were faring better than most or many Panamanians of all races due to their having access to working with the USA and canal projects and any other administrative unit under USA control. In addition English speaking West Indians spoke ENGLISH, which many Panamanians didn't speak. So the Panamanians had lots of antagonism and hostility towards West Indians. During the 1940s, thrice president Arnulfo Arias passed xenophobic laws that blacks who spoke English were PROHIBITED to immigrate to Panama and other people prohibited to immigrate to Panama were the Chinese, Orientals, Asians, Arabs, Middle Easterners and people from India. They were considered undesirable and unassimilable foreigners and aliens. In addition any English speaking West Indian or any other "undesirables" living in or born in Panama to West Indian parents in Panama after 1929 were not allowed to obtain Panamanian citizenship and those that had citizenships but weren't born before 1929 had their Panamanian citizenships revoked. The xenophobic laws made an exception to Latin American immigrants and Latin American blacks, as Latin Americans were believed to be and perceived to be more culturally and linguistically alike and as kin so, black Latin peoples were accepted as desirable immigrants. Panamanians of colonial black descent were protected. However any assumptions that a colonial black was West Indian caused a lot of controversy and friction, and made things tougher for all blacks in Panama. Those "undesirables" immigrants and descendants of such and West Indians, especially that were legally allowed or protected had to wait until after the age of 18 or 21 to be allowed Panamanian citizenship and/or they had to speak only or primarily Spanish and they were required to be tested for or of and/or know certain things about proficiency in Panamanian culture, history, and traditions in order to maintain or be allowed to have citizenship. In addition there were many West Indians living in the Panama Canal Zone so many had no sense of identity or were confused. It's as if they were U.S. Americans, Panamanians, and Bajans/Barbadians, or whichever other West Indian region etc and many still loyal to British crown had to reach out to British crown to assure their protection and rights and support, which many felt was lacking or limited. So many felt they were all of these things and identities but none of them at the same time. Spanish speaking colonial blacks were protected under Panamanian law as Panamanian citizens, so they didn't face the same treatment or discrimination as West Indians. Some colonial blacks also were stressed by the elite Panamanians, rabiblancos, as true bonafide Panamanians when West Indians started to arrive to Panama. So in many ways the immigration of West Indian blacks to Panama, helped to assimilate the colonial blacks into Panamanian culture as true Panamanians.

West Indian descent blacks advocated for black rights or West Indian rights due to the xenophobia they once faced especially being pawns of the U.S. Americans which many Panamanians didn't like since they *were critical of the USA and their interference and pulling the strings of power in their lands, especially since it was the USA that desperately brought the West Indians to Panama as a labor task force for the Canal. West Indians were NOT the only ones to build the canal though as a labor task force.


So the political semantics often falsely equate the term black with West Indian descent and vice versa when they are not one and the same. Also West Indians of ALL races and racial mixtures, including WHITE West Indians, immigrated to Panama. Many Caribbean Jews came to Panama as well.

A significant portion of West Indians and West Indian descendants in Panama would eventually move to the USA, or even back to the Caribbean islands and nations. This also may explain why many people ASSume Panamanians are black or that Panamanians are a West Indian people, because of what they see in the USA or abroad. Panamanians of West Indian descent are a minority of the Panamanian black population in Panama, and a sizeable tiny minority in the overall general Panamanian population.

Also be careful which Panamanians you speak to, especially Panamanians and people that claim Panamanian descent in the USA. Many Panamanians and their descendants in the USA often are not fully knowledgeable on Panama, and the ones that are or claim to be knowledgable often have missed out on the deep in depth nooks and crannies information on black culture and history in Panama. People also seem to think Colon is the only area where blacks are in Panama when that is far from the case. Blacks are everywhere in Panama. Colonial blacks are more widespread in Panama and scattered out than those of West Indian descent. The numbers of West Indian descendants in Panama over the years have decreased due to many of them immigrating to the USA and abroad and disproportionately high rates. Many Panamanians abroad often may not know about other areas of Panama but the capital or Colon City.

Colonial blacks have been very influential in Panamanian society especially in the literary, cultural political national stage and arena and the colonial black communities have contributed some outstanding figures to Panama. Some important figures of colonial black heritage are the late Juan Materno Vazquez de Leon, Gucimerinda Paz, Sara Sotillo Guillen, Hector Valdez Carasquilla, Secundino Torres Gudiño, Bayano, Felipillo, Domingo Congo, Pedro Casanga*José del Carmen de los Dolores Escobar who was better known as Frederico*Escobar,*Crescenciano Vásquez Salazar,*Eusebio Pedroza, Carlos Antonio Mendoza Soto, and Lucy Molinar who is also known as the Panamnian Oprah.

In addition there are significant numbers of and still continuing immigration of Dominicans and Colombians to Panama.

Colombians are the largest immigrant group in the Republic of Panama

As for Colon, that is not the only area where blacks live. And it actually rivaled the wealth and success of the capital Panama City, since Colon was where all commerce and trade and immigration was entering into the Republic of Panama as well as to or through that side of the Canal Zone which USA watched and guarded and controlled carefully. Colon City was so wealthy and successful especially with it's burgeoning middle and even upper professional classes of West Indians that Colon City was referred to as "Tasa de Oro" or Teaspoon of Gold. The proffesional classes consisted of very united and well to do West Indian families that included ambitious lawyers, doctors, people that worked in schools, or Canal comission workers, and buisness peoples and owners, and traders etc. Colon City took a big hit in the 1960s and especially the 1970s and began to go into significant economic decline when most of it's cream of the crop and successful community members began to leave for the USA, and some to other places abroad like the UK, and Canada. Several thousand left Panama, so there was a shift, and then also with better infrastructure built in Panama connecting Colon with the rest of Panama, many people from Colon left for the capital or surrounding areas in Panama province. Colon City is considered a poverty stricken city and economically depressed one. Many Greeks, Asians and and East Indians and descendants of such own businesses and other trades and deals of success in Colon city as does the rabiblancos, which are the colonial descended white elites of Panama (similar to the bekés of Martinique).

Another ongoing and important controversial issue that some colonial blacks in Panama are facing is displacement from their homelands, similar to what's going on in Colombia with black land claim and entitlement rights. In the Archipielago of the Pearl Islands of Panama, located on the pacific side and pacific coasts of Panama, several thousand blacks and black communities have lived and inhabited these lands, since the early 1500s, and many also escaped to these lands for freedom as cimarrones (maroons). Many were forced to be pearl divers to help cultivate the pearl fisheries to help the Spanish turn a profit in colonial trade and fortunes. Many of these black pearl divers drowned or were killed eaten alive by sharks that roamed these waters, and some may have committed suicide or were killed by their European masters. There were also many Ladinos that settled in the Pearl Islands which were black Africans born and reared and raised in Spain and Hispanicized and Roman Catholicized and Spanish speaking and Spaniard citizens and subjects. Basically they were blacks from the Iberian Peninsula. Many were sent to Panama and other Spanish colonies as conquistadores and/or as indentured servants. These "Ladinos" were preferred over "bozales" which were slaves brought in directly from Africa, who were often times believed to be more likely to put up a fight and rebel. And the Spanish amassed a fortune off of the expense of the labor they forced the black Africans in the pearl fisheries of the Pearl Islands to do for them.

Now, the elites after having neglected the Pearl Islands generations and centuries left it to the colonial blacks that have lived in this region since the 1500s, all of a sudden want to build hotels, resorts and other commercial sectors and businesses on the island. Isla Contadora was the first big controversy in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and displaced many of the local colonial blacks due to construction of hotels, resorts, and casinos etc. Then in the 2001s the Eleta family, which is a rabiblancos elite white family of Panama has tried to claim the lands of Pedro Gonzalez Island, and implemented construction on the colonial black lands, when some have land titles and/or have lived there their entire lives as did their ancestors since the 1500s. So there is protest for equality of blacks and respect for their lands and some activists want to declare the Pearl Islands as part of full black land claim entitlement rights.*
 
Old 11-02-2013, 02:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
I have been told by Panamanian West Indian blacks that they are better off than the blacks who they called colonial blacks. And in this case it didnt mean "arrived during the colonial era", but "possessing a colonial mindset" because they were accused of being self hating blacks. Indeed much of the advocacy for black improvement seems to be led by those with English last names.

I will take this as a view held by some Panamanian West Indians and not as a fact. I have heard that Colon is a serious mess and that Panama is a tough place for any one of the varieties of blacks who live there as a small group of light skinned people dominate the upper levels and that light skinned mestizos are given preference even over the black Panamanian West Indians for mid level jobs, especially in their thriving corporate sector. And that Panamanian West Indians will agitate over this, well Afrocolonials will accept it as a fact of life.

I will be interested in hearing what those who know more about Panama have to say about this.
PLEASE READ THESE VERY IMPORTANT AND INFORMATIVE LINKS:

Race and Ethnicity in the formation of
Panamanian National Identity:

http://cidempanama.org/wp-content/up...rixa_Lasso.pdf


Here is one more important link on Afro-Panamanians and identity and racial and ethnic politics:

http://research.unc.edu/files/2012/11/CCM3_033308.pdf
 
Old 11-02-2013, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
I have been told by Panamanian West Indian blacks that they are better off than the blacks who they called colonial blacks. And in this case it didnt mean "arrived during the colonial era", but "possessing a colonial mindset" because they were accused of being self hating blacks. Indeed much of the advocacy for black improvement seems to be led by those with English last names.

I will take this as a view held by some Panamanian West Indians and not as a fact. I have heard that Colon is a serious mess and that Panama is a tough place for any one of the varieties of blacks who live there as a small group of light skinned people dominate the upper levels and that light skinned mestizos are given preference even over the black Panamanian West Indians for mid level jobs, especially in their thriving corporate sector. And that Panamanian West Indians will agitate over this, well Afrocolonials will accept it as a fact of life.

I will be interested in hearing what those who know more about Panama have to say about this.
Most of the blacks in and around Colon City are often of West Indian descent, but the majority of Colon Province (Costa Arriba and Costa Abajo) is overwhelmingly majority COLONIAL BLACK (aka costeños, playeros, comecocos)
 
Old 11-03-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Brasilia
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
Thurgood Marshall was on the Supreme Court in the 60s, but clearly the USA was deeply racist at that time.
I think each country on its own rhythm, don't you agree?
 
Old 11-04-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MelismaticEchoes View Post
Other Latin American countries had thriving middle classes of color as well. Notice though that it was often lighter skinned Afrodescendants that often were experiencing this mobility of higher up social ladder climbing though.

.

Cuba had many professional people who would meet any standard of being black. Celia Cruz was a middle class woman and came from a middle class family. Club Atenas, founded in 1917 was an elite club for BLACKS. Mulatos were usually not members.

Name another Latin American country with enough elite blacks to allow this prior to 1959.
 
Old 11-04-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MelismaticEchoes View Post
I don't think it's necessarily about vocal-ness or soley about one group being more vocal. A lot of it stems from political semantics and flawed and skewed perceptions and also pressure. Colonial blacks are just as vocal but I think the tide and ploy of political semantics has made the term black in Panama to be perceived as being West Indian foreign and not traditional. So it's outsiders and others that will often view black as being West Indian. In addition the term gets misused which has often led to many colonial black Panamanian culture and traditions being falsely relabeled as West Indian, when it's NOT West Indian at all. It's similar to how foods that are not even eaten or known in Mexico are packaged as Mexican or Tex Mex or Cali Mex or Mexi food in the USA, or like how Louisiana Creole foods are marketed and labelled as Cajun foods when there really is no such thing as Cajun people or Cajun food when it's all really traditional Creole but that's another story and just an example.

Sometimes, it's basically a way for colonial blacks to be swept under the rug and used as a pawn and to keep blacks or the perception of blackness segregated from full integration into the model, and then when incidents of discrimination and racism come up or even classism, the government or others can deny such because then the argument is made that colonial blacks are true Panamanians, to show that cultural and language and class are the difference.

It is similar to how in Dominican Republic, the term of black is used often to refer to Haitians and descendants of Haitians in the DR, while it may not always be applied to black Dominicans and the descendants of the first original colonial black Dominicans. Another example is how many people in Cuba and outside say that Cuban blacks are really Jamaican and Haitian and not traditionally from Cuba, because there were lots of Jamaican and Haitian immigrants and laborers and workers that came to Cuba in the 19th and 20th centuries for various tasks and projects. But nonetheless most Cuban blacks and Afrodescendants in Cuba descend from slaves brought to Cuba between 1492 and 1887.

And yes, some colonial black Panamanians have intermarried with West Indian descendants and in addition many West Indian descendants assimilated, and many of the younger generations don't even know a lick of English. So it can be hard at times to tell. Only the very old school generation keeps on more to the old ways, but the newer generations are gradually and more fully more assimilated and Hispanicized.

This seems to be a reasonable explanation. The West Indians, being a more transnational and often bilingual, might be better positioned to attract international attention. Indeed it might be like Canada where there are many AfroCanadians who are descended from people who fled their to escape US slavery, but yet the image of the black person is almost always confined to that of the Caribbean immigrant.

I am aware that "divide and rule" is used in Panama (based on what my sources claim) and that deliberate attempts are made to isolate West Indian descended Panamanians as the most vocal about racism. This being a ploy to suggest that claims about racism come only from a group that some would claim experience issues, not because of race/phenotype, but because they refuse to fit in. Something that Panamanian West Indians are sometimes accused of...though all who I meet are very bilingual, and many younger ones are monolingual Spanish speakers.
 
Old 11-04-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by antma robel View Post
I think each country on its own rhythm, don't you agree?

OK so the USA will be allowed to have a group of blacks doing well, indeed more than 30% earning MORE than the average white household. A rapidly growing positive representation in the media (despite the wails of some).

While Brazil wiull continue to have the bulk of its black/darjk mulato population wallow in poverty and stigmatized as a result.

I wonder if a black/dark mulato Brazilian will agree with this.

And this can also apply to most other parts of Latin America where significant numbers of blacks/dark mulatos exist.
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