"For the whites did God,
mulattos to San Pedro,
Blacks made to the devil
for blight of hell."~
José HernándezMartín Fierro (The way)

Afro-Argentine family

The African presence in Argentina is often denied and suppressed. "Liberty has no color" read the signs held outside a Buenos Aires city courthouse. However,  Argentines are famous for saying, "no hay negros en Argentina, "there are no blacks in Argentina."  Yet this is a country which first president, Bernardino Rivadavia, who was called the "Chocolate Dictator" by his political opponents, had Black ancestry. 
                                Afro-Argentine  Maria Lamadrid of Africa Vive
Maria Lamadrid, an Afro-Argentine, vividly recalls the day when her country's immigration authorities prevented her from boarding a plane for Panama, demanding she present them with a "real passport."
"They told me, 'This can't be your passport. There are no blacks in Argentina,' " she said of the 2001 incident. The authorities at Ezeiza International Airport had no idea that the woman they detained for six hours is the president of Africa Vive, or "Africa Lives," a prominent black rights group in Buenos Aires.

It is reported that when famed African American entertainer Josephine Baker visited Argentina in the 1950s, she reportedly asked the biracial minister of public health, Ramon Carillo: 'Where are the Negroes?' " Carillo answered: 'There are only two, you and I.' "

Argentina is generally considered the whitest country in South America — 97 percent, by some counts — possibly more ethnically European than immigrant-saturated Europe. There was once a large Afro-Argentine presence but it has faded over the epochs. Now, for the first time in a century and a half, Argentine descendants of African slaves are organizing and going public to assert their identity. During the colony, the Spanish authorities described as different "varieties" from "crossing" include those resulting from the union of Black African people with people of other ethnic origins. The names used were:
  • Mulatto: Black and White parents.
  • Morisco: Mulatto and White parents.
  • Albino: Morisco and White parents.
  • Quadroon: one-quarter Black ancestry/three-quarter White ancestry.
  • Octoroon: one-eighth Black ancestry/seven-eighth White ancestry.
  • Tercerón: White/Mulatto mixed, an octoroon.
  • Quinterón: fifth-generation Black ancestry/one parent who is an octoroon and one White parent.
  • Hexadecaroon: sixth-generation Black ancestry.
  • Zambo: Black/Amerindian mixed.
  • Zambo Prieto: Black/Amerindian mixed with predominant Black.
Socially, possess a "crossing" in the family tree was a macula. These classifications, and other common in the colonial culture, as "mestizo" or cholo, were used to stigmatize people and prevent their social advancement. In some cases, well-known historical personalities were found in this situation, as Bernardo de Monteagudo and Bernardino Rivadavia, were described as "mulatto".

African slaves were first brought to Argentina in the 1770s to toil on large haciendas and serve as domestic servants. Slavery wasn't abolished until 1853.
                             Painting of Afro-Argentines

The 1778 census showed that 7,236 of 24,363 Buenos Aires residents, or 30 percent, were African. That figure dropped to 2 percent by 1887 -- the final year blacks were included as a separate category. Some rights activists say the government eliminated a black category to promote an image of homogeneity. In its place, census takers introduced euphemistic race classifications.

Traditionally it has been argued that the black population in Argentina declined since the early 19th century to insignificance. However, the pilot census conducted in two neighborhoods of Argentina in 2006 on knowledge of ancestors from Sub-Saharan Africa verified that 5% of the population knew of African ancestry, and another 20% thought that was possible but not sure. Given that European immigration accounted for more than half the growth of the Argentine population in 1960, some researchers argue that rather than decrease what they had was a process of "invisibility" of the population Afro Argentine and their cultural roots.

Other researchers have argued that there was a deliberate policy of genocide against the Afro Argentinian, which was openly expressed by many Euro-Argentines as Domingo F. Sarmiento and was probably implemented by using repressive policies during epidemics and wars as a tool of mass destruction.[The theories argue that genocide may have been used to explain the decline in the population. Experts were pursuing similar arguments, but differ on the attribution of intent that was first attributed to the ruling classes.

Causes of reduction
 There are nearly two million people of African descent in the country 
Miriam Gomes, vice president of the Sociedad Argentina Caboverdeana

                             Professor Miriam Gomes,Afro-Argentine with Cape Verdean ancestry

Among the reasons expressed are:
Heavy casualties caused by the constant civil wars and foreign wars: Blacks formed a disproportionate part of the Argentine army in the long and bloody War of Paraguay (1865–1870), in which the loss of lives on both sides were high. The official historiography maintains that this resulted in the disappearance of the black population, while the genocide claims contend that the disproportionate recruitment was intentional.
Epidemics, especially of yellow fever in 1871: the traditional history holds that the epidemics had greater impact in areas where the poorest people lived, whereas the vision that sustains the existence of a genocide underlines the repressive mechanisms that enabled upper-class groups to leave the affected areas at the same time, forcing African Argentines to stay locked up and thus aggravate health conditions.
Emigration, particularly to Uruguay and Brazil, where black populations had historically been larger and had a more favorable political climate;
The massive immigration from Europe between 1880 and 1950,[8] boosted by the Constitution of 1853, that quickly multiplied the country's population. Like Australia in the 1950s to 1980s, European immigrants were encouraged while non-Europeans were virtually excluded.
There are a growing number of historians in academia which look to the acts of racial genocide on the part of the Argentine government. Former Argentine President Domingo Sarmiento advocated forced population reductions of the black population in Argentina. While direct evidence of any such action is very limited, research into the unseemingly swift population reduction for blacks over a very short amount of time, lack of actualized census evidence of intermarriage between blacks and whites in Argentina, and investigations finding evidence of later commissions of genocide toward native populations, as well as executions by the Argentine government toward the nations small Native American population gives slight credence to the possibility of the subject.

Domingo F. Sarmiento

Domingo Sarmiento

Domingo F. Sarmiento, who was president during the great yellow fever epidemic and the War of Paraguay, events to which is assigned the extermination of the Afro Argentine, had a strong racist position and argued the need to eliminate the black population. In 1848 he wrote all this in his diary during his trip to the United States.
Slavery in the United States today is without question a possible solution; 4 million are black, and within 20 years will be 8. Rescue, who pays 1,000 million pesos worth? Libertos - or Freedmen, what is done with such blacks hated by the white race? Slavery is a parasite that the vegetation of English colonization has left attached to leafy tree of freedom. Did it not dare to uproot the tree when it could, while leaving the dead, and the parasite has grown and threatens the whole tree gleaned?
Years later the same Sarmiento wrote:
I come to this happy Chamber of Deputies in Buenos Aires, where there are no gauchos, or black, or poor.
—Cited by Ruchansky
Expressions of Sarmiento is an example of the attitude taken by the Argentine State after slavery was abolished by amending the census classifications so there is no record of their presence, eliminating the categories of people "black" or "brown", to merge it with other groups under the banner of "Trigueña."
Some of the few researchers in the situation of Afro Argentinians the end of the 19th century, have argued that his alleged posting by the European immigrants is not compatible with the fact the high rate of masculinity of the latter.
Non-European immigrants settled in large numbers in the northern provinces, where the population was predominantly black.
In 1887, the percentage of black population was officially calculated at 1.8% of the total. From that moment will not be registered in the census. The State's position was again made explicit at the time of the National Census of 1895 when its leaders said:
Will soon be completely unified population forming a new and beautiful whites.
Since then, and for nearly a century, in Argentina virtually no studies were conducted on the nature Afro Argentinians.
                                 Afro-Argentines at a bonfire in San Juan -1938-A.G.N.
Beginning in the 1930s, large internal migration began to Buenos Aires and other urban centers to be integrated as factory workers in the industrialization process open then. Beginning in the 1940s, his presence was crowded and was disparagingly called for large sections of middle and upper class, "black heads."
Only in recent decades have there begun to appear research both historical and sociological aimed at the black population, with results that have been received with surprise and in some cases rejected by large segments.
In recent years, have multiplied the studies, activities and organizations related to population Afro Argentine. The overall result indicates a presence both physically and culturally far greater than that posed formally.

African influence in Argentine culture


Perhaps the most lasting effect of black influence in Argentina was the Tango, which charges some of the characteristics of the festivities and ceremonies that slaves developed in the so-called tango, meeting houses in which they are grouped with permission from their masters. Although not yet clearly demonstrated, it is considered that even the milonga (and dance) and chacarera draw on its influence, and the minstrel song, besides the fictitious dark Martín Fierro, the minstrels were famous Gabino Ezeiza and Higinio D. Cazón. The pianist and composer Rosendo Mendizabal, author of "El Entrerriano", was black, and Carlos PosadasEnrique Maciel (author of the music of the waltz "La Pulpera de Santa Lucía"), Cayetano Silva, born in San Carlos (Uruguay) and author of the San Lorenzo march music, and Zenón Rolón, who wrote numerous academic music, funeral march as the Great in 1880 was run in honor of the LiberatorJosé de San Martín to be repatriated the remains.
                                                Afro-Argentine drummer
The colloquial speech of Spanish in Argentina argues many black African terms, for example mine (synonymous with woman), maid, tripe, brothel, Marot, catinga, tamango, Mandingo and milonga, using many of them in the slang. In religion, in addition to the festivities of Carnival, the veneration of St. Benedict and St. Balthasar, the wise person black, still popularly revered in much of Corrientes, Chaco and north east of Santa Fe.
However, racism is still important. The terms black, bold, dark-haired and black head-directed towards people of another social class, but with a strong semantic content linked to race-are still used, though their victims are often people of Amerindian origin, and even of European origin.

Poems by Afro-Argentinians

In the midst of my people I am isolated,
because where my cradle was rocked
roughly over on its side,
a breed of outcasts has remained
and it is to that race which I belong.
And we have no homeland, if it exists,
It knew how to draft us from its breast;
the charges that serve for a saddened man.
And if we have but one right granted,
It is surely the right to die.
(1869) Horacio Mendizabal.
Oh damned, damned, a thousand times
you faithless white, your cruel remembrance
is eternal hurt from your history
(1878) Casilda Thompson.
There are no more Negro bottlemen,
nor porters
or fruit-selling blacks,
much less a fisherman;
because those Neapolitans
have even become pastry chefs
and now want to rob us of
the laundryman's trade.
There are no more servants of my colour
Because every one of them is a wop;
Before long, by Jesus Christ!
They'll be dancing the Zemba  with a drum.
Anonymous poet, probably from the late nineteenth century.

Below is a real academic work on how the Afro-Argentines sacrificed their lives in war to make Argentina safe for all the other race in its boundaries especially the whites and how they (blacks) were systematically decimated as a race.

Claire Healy

                                         Afro_Argentines in their traditional outfit

The phenomenon of the low numbers of Afro-Argentines in the twentieth-century population of the Republic of Argentina is sometimes referred to as the ‘‘riddle’’ of the disappearance of the Afro-Argentines, or even the ‘‘black genocide’’. Historiography on Afro-Argentines has concentrated almost entirely on their disappearance rather than on their existence in nineteenth-century Argentina. A vast problem when assessing the historiography of Afro-Argentines is the almost ubiquitous perception that they were the victims of history and that their ‘‘disappearance’’ was somehow inevitable. As such, analyses of their history frequently relate exclusively to their contribution to and acceptance within white culture, or to reasons for their alleged disappearance.
The demographic decline of the Afro-Argentines has variously been attributed to miscegenation, disease and warfare. George Reid Andrews sets out four principal reasons for the decline in the first chapter of his book: death and injury in wars, intermarriage, low birth rates and high mortality, and the decline in the slave trade. He later appends reclassification of black people as white or mestizo to the list. Indeed, reclassification has its origins in the early eighteenth century, when the Spanish monarchy instituted a system whereby a subject could purchase certificates of legal ‘‘whiteness’’ called gracias al sacar. Andrews argues that death had less to do with the perceived disappearance of Afro-Argentines than such reclassification, frequently as ‘‘triguen˜os,’’ and cultural prejudices.
These contributed to downplaying the contribution of black people to porten˜o culture and overlooking the patriotism and high level of integration of some black porten˜os. Andrew’s argument does pose the question that if Buenos Aires was such a racist society, how was it so easy for blacks to ‘‘pass’’ as mulattoes or even whites. We are left confused as to whether we are dealing with a rigidly stratified society or a situation of social fluidity, where people could redefine themselves ethnically in order to further their own economic interest.

Death in the army is frequently referred to as the primary reason for the demographic decline of Afro-Argentines. George Reid Andrews usefully reveals the fact that desertions massively outweighed deaths in Argentine armies; it was more convenient for historians and society in general to claim that these soldiers had died rather than deserted, and stayed alive. Daniel Scha´velzon adds that many Afro-Argentines’ response to their inferior situation was the most self-destructive response of all, suicide.
What is not emphasised enough in any of the five books is the effect of cessation of immigration from Africa on the survival of the Afro-Argentines as a recognisable social group in the face of mass immigration from Europe

One glaring void in the various theories that seek to explain the ‘‘disappearance’’ of Afro-Argentines is their obvious failure to account for a substantial proportion of the entire population of Afro-Argentines. That is, Afro-Argentine women, who did not fight in these wars, and many of whom in the mid-nineteenth century could be found engaged in the patently non-hazardous pursuit of doing the laundry for the city of Buenos Aires.
This points to the prevalence of inter-marriage and immigration in accounting for the small number of dark-skinned inhabitants of the port city and its surroundings in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Liboreiro does hint at this point when she states that because immigration did not continue from Africa, Afro-Argentines were forced to intermarry, even if they did not choose to do so. This intermarriage is directly related to the absence of black men with whom black women could have procreated, as so many of them were engaged, or killed, in battle. Furthermore, for an Afro-Argentine woman, having children with a non-Afro father would improve her children’s prospects in bonaerense society, provided the children distanced themselves from their Afro-Argentine roots. Marvin A. Lewis claims that interethnic unions were not frowned upon by the black population, because of the low status of blackness in society.
He later contradicts himself, claiming that they fought this trend, in an illustrative glorification of the community’s press: ‘‘They waged a constant battle against biological extermination through miscegenation.’’
Argentina’s black people were the subject of a concerted policy by the government, with the compliance of many intellectuals, to apply pseudo-scientific racism to population planning. Lewis indicates that there was a political connection between the late nineteenth-century rise in the white population of Buenos Aires, due to the arrival of immigrants from Europe, and the concurrent decline in the population of African origin. In
1869, the proportion of the national population who were of African origin was registered as 26.1%; in 1895, it was 1.8%. Marvin A. Lewis mentions this interface in passing, though he sees it as integral in their demise as a recognisable social group: ‘‘The argument of national identity first and the individual afterward was effective in destroying Afro-Argentine continuity while Germans, Italians and British progressed with their identities intact.’’
Solomianski provides a more comprehensive analysis of the effect of European immigration on the Afro-Argentine community, seeing it as the most decisive factor in the ‘‘the dilution of the social reference group’’ of Afro-Argentines. He considered the increase in associative activity and the proliferation of newspapers in the community as a reaction to the threat posed by successive waves of European immigration. Immigrants did edge slaves, and then free Afro-Argentines, out of their traditional employment as artisans or in agriculture. At the turn of the century, according to Scha´velzon, 37% of free and enslaved agricultural labourers were of African origin. Another area where immigrants ultimately replaced Afro-Argentines was in music and dance.

Military service figured in the life of almost every Afro-Argentine man. General Jose´de San Martı´n’s Army of the Andes had two exclusively black battalions, the Hunter Battalions 7 and 8, who fought in the battles of Chacabuco, Cancha Rayada and Maypu´ . Solomianski mentions the 700 African slaves who fought during the British invasion ofBuenos Aires in 1806 and 1807, along with other Afro-Argentines who were already enlisted in regiments at the time of the invasion. Andrews claims that of the 5,000 people who defended Buenos Aires in 1807, 876 were in the Corps of Indios, Pardos and Morenos. Liboreiro highlights a less positive contribution of the Afro-Argentines to Argentine history in the participation of some Afro-Argentines in General Julio A. Roca’s expedition of extermination against indigenous people in Patagonia in 1879, the
infamous ‘‘Campan˜ a al Desierto.’’
                Gabino Ezeiza, nicknamed "Black Ezeiza" (February 3, 1858 – October 12, 1916), was an Argentine musician.

Liboreiro emphasises the presence of Afro-Argentines in the battles of Caseros, Cepeda and Pavo´n in the 1850s and early 1860s, a time of civil war in Argentina, when Buenos Aires had seceded from the Confederation of the thirteen remaining Argentine provinces. She does not however analyse their involvement in these battles, thus failing to enlighten the reader on the nature of their activity. One of the few celebrated AfroArgentines is ‘‘El Negro Falucho’’, a soldier of the River Plate Regiment of the Army of the Andes in 1824. Solomianski points out that this entire story, of a submissive but patriotic black soldier, may have simply been an invention of Bartolome´ Mitre’s in 1857.
                                    Afro-Argentine woman and his son

Blacks in Argentina: Disappearing Acts
by Hishaam Aidi

When songstress Josephine Baker visited Argentina in the 1950s she asked the biracial minister of public health Ramon Carilio, “Where are the Negroes?” to which Carilio responded, laughing, “There are only two – you and I.”
Scholars have long pondered the “disappearance” of people of African descent from Argentina, long considered South America’s “whitest” nation. A 1973 article in Ebony asked, “what happened to Argentina’s involuntary immigrants, those African slaves and their mulatto descendants who once outnumbered whites five to one, and who were for 250 years ‘an important element’ in the total population, which is now 97 percent white?”
One history book calls the country’s lack of self-identifying black people “one of the most intriguing riddles in Argentine history,” while another notes that “the disappearance of the Negro from the Argentine scene has puzzled demographers far more than the vanishing Indian.” Was the Afro-Argentine community annihilated by disease and war, or absorbed into the larger white community?
                                         Afro-Argentine girl of Cape Verdean ancestry

Of course, whiteness itself is relative. Many Argentines who proudly consider themselves white come to America and are shocked to find that in American racial discourse they are considered “Latino,” “Hispanic” or vaguely “Spanish” and not white. Says Paula Brufman, an Argentine law student and researcher, “Argentines like to think of themselves as a white nation populated by Europeans. I was surprised when in the US, people – especially Latinos – told me I was not white but Spanish.”
Today in Argentina, there is a growing interest in the country’s African past and Afro community, “la communidad Afro,” as it’s called. The past decade has seen black clubhouses, religious institutions and dance clubs crop up in the capital, Buenos Aires. A group called Africa Vive (Africa Lives), made up of Afro-Argentines, has spearheaded the campaign to raise awareness of the country’s Afro-culture and history. At the Durban UN Conference on Racism, Africa Vive presented a widely circulated study about the socioeconomic situation of Afro-Argentines. The report documented the high unemployment and difficulties with naturalization that many blacks in Argentina encounter.
“Minorities in Argentina – indigenous, Afro, et cetera – suffer from a problem of invisibility and poor organization,” says Mercedes Moschl of the Buenos Aires City’s Human Rights Commission, who worked with Africa Vive on the aforementioned report, as part of the municipal government’s “Right to Identity” initiative.
            Afro-Argentine Higinio D. Cazón (1866 - 1914) was a musician and Songwriter. His minstrel activity led to many parts of the Republic, but the preferred center of their performances was in Buenos Aires and the people of this province.

So, how many people in Argentina today can claim African ancestry? The numbers are themselves difficult to calculate, says Alejandro Frigerio, an anthropologist at the Universidad Catolica de Buenos Aires. “People of mixed ancestry are often not considered black in Argentina, historically, because having black ancestry was not considered proper. Today the term ‘negro’ is used loosely on anyone with slightly darker skin, but they can be descendants of indigenous Indians, Middle Eastern immigrants. People in Africa Vive say there are a million ‘afrodescendientes’ in Argentina. Although many people are not aware that they may have had a black great-grandmother or –father, I think that this is an overestimation. I would estimate that there are 2 or 3 thousand Afro-Argentines, descendants of slaves, ‘negros criollas,’ 8 to 10 thousand in the Cape Verdean community, most born in Argentina, and I’d add another 1,200 Brazilian, Uruguayan, Cuban and African communities.”
Created in 1996, Africa Vive has reached out to Afro-Argentine leaders with the aim of creating an organization that can battle poverty in Afro-Latino communities. It has single-handedly brought media and the mainstream’s attention to the plight and legacy of Afro-Argentines.
“different groups have emerged, including Grupo Cultural Afro and SOS Racismo, but Africa Vive is probably the most important group that has rekindled interest in things African in Argentina,” says Frigerio. “It is the main group composed of Afro-Argentines, descendants of the original Afro-Argentine population. Africa Vive has successfully drawn the media’s attention – they organized a conference against discrimination at the University of Buenos Aires in 1999, and were written up in an eight-page article in the daily Clarin. The article was significant because for the first time in almost thirty years, the term ‘Afro-Argentine community’ was used, instead of ‘black’ community.”
                                            Fecundo Posadas
Frigerio continues: “Last September, these black groups, led by Africa Vive, convinced a national deputy to organize a ceremony in memory of black soldiers who died fighting for Argentina’s independence. The event took place in one of the traditional halls of the National Congress and was attended by the commander-in-chief of the army and the head of state. The national deputy spoke in honor of the fallen black soldiers and then awarded honorary degrees to the heads of several black organizations. It was quite remarkable that such an event could take place in Argentina.”
War heroism, in fact, is one reason Argentina lags so far behind in recognizing its people of African descent. Even after the official abolition of slavery, many blacks were still slaves and were granted manumission only by fighting in Argentina’s wars, serving disproportionately in the war of independence against Spanish rule and border wars against Paraguay from 1865 to 1870. Blacks were also granted their freedom if they joined the army, but they were deliberately placed on the front line and used as cannon fodder. Historian Ysabelle Rennie notes that the government deliberately placed as many blacks as possible in “dangerous military service” and sent them into battle “where they got killed off fighting Indians (another race Argentines were interested in exterminating).”
Argentine sociologist Gino Germani chalks up the “disappearance” to racist immigration policies, saying that the nation’s “primary and explicit objective” was to “modify substantially the composition of the population,” to “Europeanize the Argentine population, produce a regeneration of races.” Marvin A. Lewis, author of Afro-Argentine Discourse: Another Dimension of the Black Diaspora, concurs, saying that “there was an official, concerted effort to eliminate the blacks from Argentine society.”
Many have argued that people of African descent simply “disappeared” by mingling into the waves of thousands of European immigrants. Argentine historian Mariano Bosch wrote in 1941 that Italian men had “perhaps an atavistic preference for black women: body odor led them to matrimony and the blacks accepted them as whites,” or rather, “almost whites, because the Italian has much African in him, and his color is a dull pale.”
                                   Afro-Argentine Enrique Maciel-was a versatile and sensitive composer, lyricist, and harmonium, piano, bandoneon and guitar performer. The latter is the instrument that identified him permanently in the memory of tango listeners.

“There is a silence about the participation of Afro-Argentines in the history and building of Argentina, a silence about the enslavement and poverty,” adds Paula Brufman. “The denial and disdain for the Afro community shows the racism of an elite that sees Africans as undeveloped and uncivilized. . . . The poverty in the Afro community was terrible. Although slavery was abolished in 1813, the death rate of freed blacks was always higher than that of white people and of slaves. Why is that? Because in Buenos Aires, slaves were very expensive, so the masters took real good care of them. Once a black got his freedom, his living standards collapsed even further.”
The past few years, however, have seen a growing interest among young Argentines of all backgrounds in Afro-Argentine culture – in tango, the dance and music with such strong West African roots, and other dances such as the milonga, the Zambia and the malambo. For this, many thank immigrants from other parts of South America.
“Afro-Uruguayan and Afro-Brazilian migrants to Buenos Aires have been instrumental in expanding black culture – teaching Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Afro-Brazilian capoeira, orisha and secular dances to white Argentines,” says Frigerio, who has written of various Afro-Argentine cultural movements, including dancing saloons owned by blacks, carnival societies and black newspapers. One such dancing saloon, “The Shimmy Club,’ was founded in 1922 and lasted until 1974.
                                       Afro-Argentine international reggae superstar Fidel Nadal

Frigerio believes the newfound interest in Afro-Argentine culture is not only the result of immigration but also of a new state policy. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Argentina was ruled by a succession of military juntas who suppressed and almost eradicated black culture. “The military dictatorships from 1966 onwards prohibited or severely constrained the gathering of people in the street or in closed spaces – a practice which certainly negatively influenced carnivals, which almost disappeared; tango dancing, which died out until it was revitalized in the 1990s; and also black dance clubs such as The Shimmy Club. All genres of popular culture severely suffered during the dictatorships and many almost disappeared, but began resurfacing in the 1990s.”
Still, he cautions against too much optimism regarding race in Argentina. “The new laws and institutes help celebrate ethnic diversity and help groups like Africa Vive emerge and operate,” Frigerio says, “but they have not undermined the dominant national narrative of racial homogeneity and whiteness.” While the racial situation is much better today than it was half a century ago – when a review of Josephine Baker’s performance wrote of her “monkey rhythm” – Frigerio says that “today blacks are more exoticized than stigmatized. . . . What scholar Livio Sansone said of Brazil, we can say of Argentina: there are hard and soft areas of racism, or areas in which it may be advantageous or disadvantageous to be black. In Buenos Aires, being black is advantageous in finding a girl/boyfriend, but less so for finding a job, unless the person is a musician or dance professor.” source:


  1. No se porque escriben en ingles. La verdad que todo lo que escriben acá es de publico conocimiento y los apoyo en todo lo que dicen!!

  2. Thank you for writing this. I know that the previous writer chastised you for writing in English but this information is one that is useful to every black person globally. I have learned a lot this evening. Thank you and best wishes.

  3. From Nigeria. I also want to thank you for publishing in English. This information is useful to Africans who interact with White South Americans. There is a new discovery being debated that not all Black People outside Africa got there through the slave trade. Please help study it in your spare time.

  4. Argentina like all of Central and S.Amrika are very racist,even Brazil where the majority of people are Black is still nota haven for Black people. They simply donlt employ them,they are ostricized in all Latin Cultures,racism still prevails as a norm in Latin Amerika.To insult is to imply you have Blck ancestry, the sickness of racism governs them,I've often thought it was a mental illness,that's in their genes and jeans. Scientist today say how you think can change the molecular structure of a gene, it supports my argument they were born that way ,predisposed to be racist!

  5. Thank you. We need to know this history and support our brothers and sisters in Argentina, and around the world, for their push for peace and justice.

  6. Jamas vi a algun afro en todo el país, no hay relación alguna que gente del africa. me llama la atención este interés de modificar la historia de este pais de inmigrantes y aborigenes, los africanos aparecieron con la esclavitud colonial española, luego las leyes duras en contra de los negros y la separación provocadqa por las misma antiguas autridades hizo que los esclavos libres se fueran hacia Brasil y Uruguay en donde podía vivir sin problemas..... eh recorrido el pais entero y jamas eh vissto en un argentino el rostro de esas fotos que aqui exponen. actualmente hay negros aqui pero son llegados en estos ultimos 20 años... no son originarios de aqui, ahora hay algunos que nacieron y esta bien eso, esta todo bien que vangan, no hay problemas... pero no acepto el engaño este de justificar o emparentar inutilmente a nuestro origen como nación hispana y de pura sangre a los nativos africanos..... es tu animosidad la que te domina (al autor hablo), tengo vecinos que son afros y no tiene muchos aos aqui y eso esta bien.... una cosa es una cosa y otra cosa es otra cosa.... saludos!

    1. Ok...dime cuantos años o siglos existe tango? Y de donde viene? es claro y evidente tu propia ignorancia de tu historia es antecedente y absoluta verdad que Argentina es un pais de racistas.

  7. I want to thank you very much for this history lesson. I am from Haiti ,but for some reason I grew up to be a fan of Mara Dona and Argentine soccer. As I grow older I keep asking myself ,how come they never feature a player of African descendant, so I decide to Google that information and it is an eye opener to say the least. I can't no longer support or rooting for them after what I now know .

  8. thank you for this information, im from Sudan, and this narrow minded boat of racism is still floating the oceans, and it's sad that the world is rejecting us like we are some sort of undesired burden

    Keep your faith my brothers my sisters, one day we will see a better day

  9. Great article. Learned a lot. My family is from Jamaica but I've always been curious to learn about Blacks from other countries.

  10. I am Somalian and black, I love blacks wherever they are, they are are beautiful, have attractive skin colour, and talented.Whites would love be to be black including Argentinians.

  11. Thank you very much for this excellent writing. Although I knew of a high level of disdain towards people of African decent in Argentina, I didn't know it was to this great level. Throughout time, ethnic cleansing never has had a pretty face, your very detailed words has and will help many see how this type of historical cancer has spread to the far reaches of this planet. However, at the same time, it will create a awareness and reality of it and ways to hopefully, make a dent with ways to eventually overcome it.

    This is a true revelation to help not just people of African decent, but also ALL to know what happens when history takes the 'wrong turn' when reaching that proverbial fork in the road for non selfless reasons. There is so much to learn without walking away being angry, thus finding ways to help right a broken ship in the most ethical and civil way possible. The misuse of authority has dire consequences, but a evolutionary use can make the world's future a lot brighter. Thank you for the enlightenment!

  12. I'm from Argentina and the president during the War with Paraguay was Mitre, not Sarmiento, Sarmiento support the war and he even lost his elder son in it.
    We never in our history had such number of negroes that outnumbered whites five to one because Argentina had a small group of slaves negroes who came from Africa, most os slaves were indians and they were killed during the Desert Campaign.
    Most of Argentines nowadays decend from the immigrations during the late 1800 and earlys 1900 Italians, Spanish, French and Germans basically. Even during the early 1900 the 80% of people from Buenos Aires were Italians.
    Most of the negroes who live is Argentina nowdays came after 1950.
    Best regards :D

    1. Ni te molestes, esto es publicidad de empoderamiento negro, miente, miente que algo quedará..

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  15. Soy Argentina y hace poco me hice un test de ADN y me entere que un 6 % de mi ADN es de origen Africano. Parte es de Africa Subsahariana y otra parte es de Africa Occidental. No me dijeron que paises especificamente, pero si areas en general. Tengo familia en Corrientes y se que hay un barrio que se llama Camba Cua donde viven muchos Afrodescendientes y donde muchos exclavos fueron llevados. Vivo en USA, pero estoy segura que la mayoria de los Argentinos no gastarian plata en estos tests (son caros y ni siquiera envian a mi pais). Honestamente creo que lo que se niega de raices Africanas, no es por racismo sino porque muchos Argentinos ni siquiera saben que tuvieron un ancestro negro. Tengo pelo negro y con muchos rulos (como Slash) y lei alguna vez que incluso cuando los negros se "diluyen", el pelo es lo ultimo que se pierde y muchos lo heredan. Mi abuelo tenia pelo incluso con mas rulos que yo, como afro pero se lo cortaba muy corto aunque se notaba apenas le empezaba a crecer. Conoci MUCHOS Argentinos con pelo asi pero los hombres se lo cortan corto y las mujeres se lo planchan o usan keratina para alisarlo. Si Googlean fotos de Agustin Rocino (musico Argentino), miren el pelo que tiene! me parece obvio de donde heredo ese pelo, y asi hay muchos. Algunos Argentinos con descendencia Africana obvia son Oscar "negro"
    Gonzalez Oro (periodista). Hector "chocolate" Baley (jugador de futbol), Americo Gallego (DT de futbol)Luis D'Elia (politico) y otros que sospecho como Diego Maradona, Hernan Crespo o Carlitos Tevez por sus rasgos. En algunos te das cuenta por el pelo, en otros por rasgos faciales (el color de piel es dudosa porque puede ser por sangre nativa de indigenas en algunos casos) . Yo estoy orgullosa del porcentaje que tengo de sangre Africana.

  16. I will write both in English and Spanish for everyone to understand. I was born in Argentina and I recently found out (DNA test) that I am 6 % African. Some of it is Sub-Saharan and some West African (I don't know specific countries, they tell you what parts of Africa in general)My family is from Corrientes and I read that many Africans lived there and there is still a neighborhood in that province called "Camba Cua" where many African descendants live. I live in the US now, but I am sure most Argentinians wouldn't spend money on DNA tests. I honestly don't think African blood is denied due to racism, I honestly think many Argentinians really don't know they have black in them. My hair is black and very curly (like Slash) and I read somewhere that even if blacks mix and dilute,hair is the last trait that is lost and many have it. My grandfather had curls smaller and tighter than mine, and I met MANY Argentinean who have hair like that. But most people have no idea who their great-grandmother or father was. Just Google Agustin Rocino (Argentine musician) and look at his hair, his African ancestry is pretty obvious to me. The thing is that most men with hair like that cut their hair very short so it is hard to tell and most Argentine women straighten their hair with chemicals or flat irons. There are some famous Argentines with obvious African DNA. For example, Oscar "negro" Gonzalez Oro (journalist), Hector "chocolate" Baley (soccer player) , Americo Gallego (soccer coach, Luis D'Elia (politician) just to name a few, and some I suspect such as Diego Maradona, Hernan Crespo or Carlos Tevez. They just don't take DNA tests. Some you can tell from hair, other because of some facial features (skin can be tricky because it could also be from Native American ancestry). Either way, I am proud of that 6 % of African heritage and I keep my hair natural.


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