Where Are the Blacks in Argentina?
The practice of slavery during Colonial times brought many African people to the Latin American continent. In countries like Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay, Blacks account for a big proportion of the population. But why are there no black people in Argentina?
Studies show that between 4% and 6% of Argentineans have African genes, but few people there are aware of their country’s African roots, which were largely cut through a series of epidemics and wars that killed huge numbers of what was a sizeable African population until the 19th century, reports Spanish newspaper El País.
One of the cities that saw its African heritage lost is Corrientes, in the north of the country. Each January, Corrientes celebrates its African roots through an ongoing revival of the 200-year-old festival of San Baltasar. Corrientes’ black population was wiped out by war and disease.
“Skin is rapidly whitened, but the curly hair and ear lobes characteristic of many people here shows Corrientes’ black heritage,” anthropologist María Belén Zaninovich said, as quoted in the newspaper. In addition, for many families, being descendant of black slaves was a matter of shame, as it didn't give them status.
Read the full article in El País.