Over at Rachels Tavern (http://www.rachelstavern.com ), a guest poster, Atlasien, wrote an essay on the disappearance of black people from Argentina (“There Are No Black People in Argentina”), where she writes that there are black people (descendants of enslaved Africans) still living there, and how Argentina suffers from a European identity to where it marginalizes the existence of its black citizens. One of the commentors left a link to a site that discusses the issue of black people living in Argentina. Here is the link to that excellent essay by Alicia Grinberg of Road to Ethiopia (“Dark Past=AfroArgentines”) on how Argentina has erased the presence of Black/African peoples from its history and its nation’s conscious. The article addresses how so many Argentinians claim that no Black people exist in Argentina and that they never have.
Historical documentation and records truthfully bare out that wherever Spaniards went, they brought with them enslaved Africans. Enslaved Africans who have built up, worked, and contributed all across the so-called New World, from Canada, to the United States, to Mexico, to Brazil, to Chile, to Argentina, all the way down to Tierra del Fuego.
So, to the lying and denying people of Argentina, to the monstrous erasing of Blacks/Africans and the work to whiteout Blacks from Argentina, to the Argentines who utter the bald face lie, “There are no Black people who live in Argentina”:
Ready to take back that lie?
Here is an excerpt of the essay:
“The origins of slavery are as old as those of the humankind, since humans exist there always have been those who tried to subjugate others and make them their slaves, and it’s something that persists until our days. despite the supposed human evolution.
The subject of slavery wasn’t something that was talked about in Argentinean schools when I was educated there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still not mentioned today. Black slaves that were brought to Argentina were referred only as a picturesque thing and not in its cruel reality.
In school presentations when we acted scenes from colonial times, boys were always gentlemen with top hats or, with their faces painted with burnt cork, slaves selling on the street; and we girls were ladies with “peinetones” (like big combs in your hair) or we also darkened our faces to represented black women with our hair rapped in a sort of colorful bandana, and selling “hot empanaditas that burn your teeth”. But nobody taught us the life of those black slaves or what happened to them later, after they gained their freedom, what happened to all that black people that little by little were disappearing first from the society and later from the memory of the people until making us think that there are really no blacks in Argentina, and that because of that “there is no racism” in Argentina.
Well, black people still exist in Argentina, obvious or not, in full daylight with their African features or hidden in the DNA of white people. Unfortunately, racism is very much alive too in Argentina, and not only against blacks.”
Read the rest of Alicia’s essay, here: http://ethiopia.limbo13.com/index.php/afroargentines/
NOTABLE AFRO ARGENTINES:
“BLACKS IN ARGENTINA—OFFICIALLY A FEW, BUT, MAYBE A MILLION”
Sunday, November 27, 2005
(11-27) 04:00 PDT Buenos Aires — 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.”