Black Panamanians have faced a double racism, despite being more integrated than in other Central American countries. During the construction of the canal, black workers were paid in silver while their white counterparts were paid in gold.Within the Canal Zone, segregation was practised by US government social services and, in the 1950s, the canal administrators expelled Afro-Panamanians from the Canal Zone to avoid civil rights protests, creating a form of apartheid.Some historians have estimated that up to 50% of the population of Panama has some African ancestry.The descendants of the Africans who arrived during the colonial era are intermixed in the general population or are found in small Afro-Panamanian communities along the Atlantic Coast and in villages within the Darién jungle.TALKS Schomberg Center Harlem, Manhattan Friday, July 13, 2018 FILM FESTIVAL Abron Center Lower East Side, Manhattan Saturday, July 14, 2018 CONCERT The Well East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Sunday, July 15, 2018 WORLD CUP June 14 – July 15, 2018 LATIN ROUND OF 16 Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Mexico, Portugal, Spain & Uruguay LATIN QUARTER FINALS Brazil, France, Uruguay LATIN SEMI FINALS France 1 – 0 Belgium LATIN FINAL France vs Croatia Sunday, July 15, 2018 ‘Despacito’ entered global popular culture. ~ 2017’s most-streamed song ~ 2017’s most-purchased song ~ 16 weeks at No.1 on the Hot 100, tying the all-time record ~ “One of the biggest global hits ever” I never even heard the winning song. Banana Republics Another region of Panama that developed a large Afro-Caribbean population is the northwestern province of Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean coast just south of Costa Rica.Beginning in the 1830s black migrants from the Caribbean began arriving to work in commercial agricultural enterprises and on construction projects.
The Bocas Del Toro Region existed as an English-speaking banana enclave that related more to other Central American banana enclaves than to the Panamanian republic.Large numbers of enslaved Africans were brought to Panama to transport these goods across the isthmus as well as to load and unload the ships at both ends of the Camino Real.Other Africans were also sent to work in the nearby gold mines of Veraguas and Darien. Panama was also important as a slave-trading centre.Colonial Period The present AFD population in Panama can be regarded as the product of two major waves of migration.The first wave landed with the Spanish in the 1500s.Most of the people in Darien are fishermen or small scale farmers growing crops such as bananas, rice and coffee as well as raising livestock..Other Afro-Panamanians are the descendants of later migrants from the Caribbean who came to work on railroad construction projects, commercial agricultural enterprises, and especially the canal.In addition the residents of the island village of Bastimentos which is located 20 minutes from Bocas, are almost entirely of African ancestry.The Panama Canal The next major wave of Afro Panamanians came between 19 accelerated by the the US-run construction of the Panama canal.Three-quarters of the 50,000 workers who built the canal were Afro Caribbean migrants from the British West Indies.Thousands of Afro-Caribbean workers were recruited from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad. By the 1930s, this migration had changed the demographics of Panama City, and Colón City around the canal.