Kaysha CorinealdiSep 19, 2022
Panama in Black
Afro-Caribbean World Making in the Twentieth Century
Duke University Press 2022
In Panama in Black: Afro-Caribbean World Making in the Twentieth Century (Duke UP, 2022), Kaysha Corinealdi traces the multigenerational activism of Afro-Caribbean Panamanians as they forged diasporic communities in Panama and the United States throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on a rich array of sources including speeches, yearbooks, photographs, government reports, radio broadcasts, newspaper editorials, and oral histories, Corinealdi presents the Panamanian isthmus as a crucial site in the making of an Afro-diasporic world that linked cities and towns like Colón, Kingston, Panamá, Brooklyn, Bridgetown, and La Boca. In Panama, Afro-Caribbean Panamanians created a diasporic worldview of the Caribbean that privileged the potential of Black innovation. Corinealdi maps this innovation by examining the longest-running Black newspaper in Central America, the rise of civic associations created to counter policies that stripped Afro-Caribbean Panamanians of citizenship, the creation of scholarship-granting organizations that supported the education of Black students, and the emergence of national conferences and organizations that linked anti-imperialism and Black Liberation. By showing how Afro-Caribbean Panamanians used these methods to navigate anti-Blackness, xenophobia, and white supremacy, Corinealdi offers a new mode of understanding activism, community, and diaspora formation.
Nicole Ramsey is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African & African American Studies at the University of Virginia. Her research examines formations of blackness, indigeneity, identity, and nation in Belize and the circum-Caribbean. On Twitter.