You are here

Colon Man a Come - Olive Senior Gives Lecture on the Panama Canal

Olive Senior

For many of us, knowledge of West Indian participation in the building of the  Panama Canal barely goes beyond the lyrics of the folksong ‘Colon Man a Come’. But of course, the experience went far beyond cracks about dangling brass chains and the inability to read clocks, representing an important element of Caribbean history. So, with the centenary of its opening fast approaching, The National Library of Jamaica, the Institute of Jamaica and University of the West Indies Mona (Western Jamaica Campus) are collaborating to present Colon Man the Panama Experience a lecture by historian and writer Olive Senior.

Senior, whose latest book is Dying to Better Themselves: West Indies and the building of the Panama Canal is particularly suited to give the lecture which will take place in Kingston and St. Andrew.

Dying to Better Themselves, joins Senior’s iconic historical texts including the A-Z of Jamaican Heritage and The Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage. Senior’s works of fiction and poetry include Summer Lightning, Gardening in the Tropics, Arrival of the Snake Woman, Talking Trees, Discerner of Hearts, Dancing Lessons and Over the Roofs of Our World.

The Kingston installment will take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at the Institute of Jamaica Lecture Hall at 2:00 pm while the Montego Bay event happens two weeks later (Sunday, October 1, 2014) at the Western Jamaica Campus at 5:30 pm. 

The lecture represents the 5th Biennial lecture from the National Library of Jamaica.