Diaspora, Race, and the Canal Builders: Afro-Caribbeans and African Americans in the Construction of the Panama Canal

Lecture Description

This talk examines the building of the Panama Canal from 1904 to 1914 with an emphasis on race and diaspora. The project required the migration of tens of thousands of Afro-Caribbeans from Jamaica, Barbados, and other islands, as well as several hundred African-Americans. Both groups confronted a widespread system of racial segregation in the Canal Zone. Yet they naturally fit into the system in different ways and developed very distinct strategies for resisting or subverting the designs of U.S. officials or, alternatively, accommodating themselves to government policies.

CATEGORIES

Labor and Working Class Race

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