Forthcoming: “Panama in Black: Afro-Caribbean World Making in the Twentieth Century”

Kaysha Corinealdi’s Panama in Black: Afro-Caribbean World Making in the Twentieth Century will be published by Duke University Press in September 2022.

Description: In Panama in Black, 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 City, 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.

“Kaysha Corinealdi’s in-depth research in Panamanian and US archives, both public and private, is unparalleled by any previous scholar. Putting Afro-Caribbean Panamanian perspectives at the center of the story, Corinealdi helps the reader experience abstractions like race, empire, and nation as they were lived: through vivid human encounters. Panama in Black will be one of those rare cherished academic books and will be read eagerly by students and scholars of Caribbean studies, Afro-diasporic studies, and Latin American history alike.” — Lara Putnam, author of Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age

Kaysha Corinealdi is Assistant Professor of World History at Emerson College.

For more information, see https://www.dukeupress.edu/panama-in-black

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