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Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 Update to 'Blacks in Buenos Aires' Post

We wanted to let everyone know about a great discussion that is going on in the comments of a 2005 blog post about Blacks in Buenos Aires. Initially the comments were focused on Black History in Argentina, but lately the comments have been a discussion on how receptive Argentina is to a Black person today.

People from all over the world, including several African Americans, have added great comments lately and I wanted to share some of those with the group. After that I want to ask some questions to the readers of this blog, especially the Argentine nationals. Let's keep the discussion going, this topic is important for some people who are thinking about either visiting or relocating in Argentina.

An Anonymous Reader contributed the following which seems to sum up many of the comments on the Black experience in Argentina.

"...I'm a black woman from London. I have desires to visit lots of countries in the world where it is perceived black people aren't welcomed. This didn't stop me because I have a right to travel, educate myself to people's customs, and let them see a very proud black woman. Even better if they get to speak to me and find out that their stereotypes don't exist in me. Anyway, the fact is since being here two days, I am the walking attraction and haven't had anyone say anything to me negative or positive."

Blacks in Argentina seem to notice that they are being noticed quite a bit more than normal. But most report that they feel they are curious glances, and not loaded with bad intent.

Another reader cited this National Geographic article, Skin Deep, by Elliot Neal Hester in the comments. I read this article and think it's great, and exactly on point with the issues raised in our blog post and comments so worth sharing with anyone interested in the topic. Hester's experience in BA included lots of being noticed. But when he had a rare interaction with one of the Argentines staring at him, it turned out sweet and innocent.

Argentina is such a great place to see that I hope no one feels so unwelcome that they cannot experience it for themselves. I think the comments in our earlier blog post and Hester's article generally support the notion that Argentina is a welcome place for Black skinned people, but also very inexperienced with seeing Black people which explains why many Argentines will stare.

For those of you who are expats in Argentina, or those who are Argentine nationals, what do you think about this? Do you think Argentina welcomes Black tourists, Students, and Expats? Do you agree the stares that many Blacks report getting in Argentina are based in curiosity of something rare, and not based on negative stereotypes?

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42 Comments:

Blogger norteamericoyajr said...

Great question! Background on me: my father is a Yanqui, my mother Criolla from a norther province. I was born and raised in that province in a 100% Argentinian custom, and then moved to the US in my youth, where I've spent the bulk of my life. I have my Argentine side (family, friends, etc), and my yanqui side (family, friends, current residence, etc).

I give this preamble because it makes me see this issue from both sides. From my yanqui side I continue to be apalled every time I visit home. The racism towards blacks is palpable. Attitudes are amazing, and the comments I hear strike me as being appropriate for antebellum South Carolina.

Yet my Argentine side tells me that this is bravado, since most of my friends and family have never seen more than a handful of black people. It is ignorance speaking, and when confronted with the ugliness of racism, every one with whom I've spoken there will admit to just parroting words, repeating the common mantra about "esa gente".

My sense when I'm in Bs. As. is that it is much more progressive there, as one might expect from a more cosmopolitan place. I would have no compulsion, were I black, to travel to Bs. As. I would, though, to the interior.

Keep up the great blog! I don't miss one!

4/22/2008 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Interesting topic. I'm an argentine guy that left the country many years ago, and lived in the US for 5 of those years and currently living in Canada.
I have to say, that I've seen a lot more racism in the US than in Argentina.
Back there, ppl may say some bad comments about Black fellows, but honestly most of them are out of ignorance and things that you see in the movies, which in general are american movies....
In Argentina you don't get to see many black people if any at all, specially if you live in the provinces like I did.
I saw one of them for the very first time when I was almost in my twenties...and I didn't live in a buble....so go figure...
I think that most of argentines would be very welcoming to any black visitor. At first perhaps a little curious about you and you'll have to put up with the stares...but once they get to know you...they will like you or not, but not for your colour but for who you are.
And for those that may say that I didn't like the US, I have to say that I met very nice ppl there too. Some of them very ignorant about what is going on abroad, but nontheless, very friendly and candid.
And for you Expatriado, congrats for this great blogg!!!, I always come here to see what's new. Cheers.

4/23/2008 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Don Gonzalito said...

By the time the territory of what is today Argentina became politically relevant (1777, creation of the Viceroyalty of River Plate), Spain was already in decadence and had to cede the lucrative monopoly in slave trading (called Asiento) to England.

In addition to that, Spain and its colonies didn't have to rely so heavily on black labor, because they instituted a semi-coercive system of work services called "encomienda", on the aboriginal population, inspired in similar services already in place during the Inca empire.

It is also fair to say that, generally speaking, and under any standard, first Spain and then its former colonies, treated slaves much more humanely and less exploitatively that their English counterparts, hence slavery being in general less profitable here.
And the first thing most Latin American countries did after declaring their independence, was to free their slaves ...

Pop culture has it that, by the decades that preceded the beginning of the XX century, there was still a considerable Negro population in Buenos Aires, which was diminished by the outburst of yellow fever in the '70. I would assume that, had the fever not happened, we would have approximately the same ratio of Negro population than perhaps Uruguay (4%).

Of course Negroes (as well as other mostly disenfranchised social groups, such as rural workers and gauchos) bore the burden of every ethnocentric, misconceived "social policy" fashionable at those times, such as forced drafts and "regimientos de pardos y morenos" , special military units alike to the Buffalo Soldiers and similarly used as cannon fodder.

Most people of Negro features you see on the street in Argentina today are either a tourist or Uruguayan, but there are some few Argentines. So it is kind of understandable for them to be seen as an oddity, but as far as I know there is no generalized hostility. And certainly nothing remotely alike the shameful racism still very much alike in most of the USA.

4/24/2008 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Hey All,
As a black American man expatriating to BsAs on Sept. 1, 2008 from the SF Bay Area, I read this particular thread of comments with great interest.

Norteamericoyajr: I wasn't quite able to follow what you wrote; do you mean to say that you would NOT be concerned about visiting BsAs if black or you would be?

Thanks for the input, and thanks to Jammer for bringing this topic back up to the forefront.

4/24/2008 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger norteamericoyajr said...

Eric, that is fantastic that you're expatriating to my father land! To simplify my earlier statement, I would feel fine and safe in Bs. As., but I would feel less so in the interior. I'm from the interior, and I've seen firsthand too many ugly scenes when a black person finds his/her way to a province. First, everyone WILL stare. You may be the first black person they've ever seen in person. Then if a single person makes an obnoxious racist remark, then several more will follow. Argentines are not known for keeping thoughts and words to themselves, and this applies as well to ugly thoughts and words. I've never seen more than curious staring in Bs. As.

4/25/2008 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Thanks so much for the information, norteamericoyajr. I had intended on doing several activities outside of BsAs, so I'll make sure to mentally prepare for some occasional abuse if I choose to do so.

I can actually tolerate pretty high levels of rudeness, but would you expect any of the rude language to to turn to violence unprovoked?

Again, thanks so much for the information.

4/25/2008 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger norteamericoyajr said...

Eric, I've never seen unprovoked racist violence, even in the interior. At soccer games, now that's a whole different story!! :-) But as I mentioned in my first confusing post, the racism I've observed comes from a combination of ignorance and an expected cultural bravado, not from some real, actual hate towards blacks. I would even go as far as saying that you could have very honest and enlightening dialogue with the more educated interior folks and turn their racism into a thing of the past. Maybe one person at a time is better progress than none.

4/27/2008 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Urban Nomad said...

Eric good luck with your move to Argentina! Would you mind keeping me posted about your experiences? I'm an African American woman considering a move to Buenos Aires and am doing lots of research at the moment. This topic will have minimal impact on my final decision but it will be interesting to hear your perspective first hand. Thank you!

5/04/2008 03:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a black person does not face classic (1950's Alabama) racism or discrimination in Argentina, however people here are passionately opinionated and a black person could easily get into a very heated argument about soccer (if people think he's brazilian) or, worse yet, international policy (if they think he's american). The best bet for a person of african ancestry visiting here to avoid conflict is to claim Jamaican nationality, people would quickly engage in a conversation about your "home country" and its music, and you might be even offered some free stuff to smoke! ;-)

5/19/2008 02:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether you're black, white or have brown skin, people always know you're american. So this whole thing about visitors ro Argentina or any other country besides the U.S., saying there from another country doesnt really work does it? You can always tell an american guy cuzz he's wearing cargo shorts and sandles.

5/19/2008 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You can always tell an american guy cuzz he's wearing cargo shorts and sandles."

BS. Americans are not the only ones who wear cargo shorts and sandles. Northern Europeans often wear the same outfit. Think of German tourists, for example...

8/11/2008 01:36:00 AM  
Blogger Felicia said...

I'm an American photographer and have lived in France, Sweden and Korea. I am contemplating moving to Buenos Aires but have some misgivings about how I will be perceived here. People staring at me has never bothered me, but what does bother me is the thought that I'd ever be treated as a second-class citizen. I really am fascinated by Buenos Aires and know that I could do great work there but I wonder if I'd make a good living for myself given that Argentine citizens are not used to seeing Black Americans there. Do you know of any Black Americans who are working and thriving in Buenos Aires that I could contact and get a more precise account of what life is like in Buenos Aires for a Black American?

Thank you for your time and effort.

Sincerely,
Felicia
felicia369ny@yahoo.com
www.nearandfar.wordpress.com

8/14/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Stella said...

Hi Eric,

I am an African-American and I will be visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina starting September 1, 2008. After reading the comments on the blog, I am a little worried about what my experience will be like there. Anyway, below is my email address if you'd like to get together for lunch or something.

stupendousstella@gmail.com

8/21/2008 11:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I saw this blog and I just had to leave a comment. I am a Black American woman and have just returned from Buenos Aires. I was living there for four months and I had a excellent time. Words do not describe how happy I am when I am there. Being from the United States, Alabama infact, I went down there with a small attitude that I would be treated differently. Being from the South, I kind of grew up with that brick wall to assume that the stares were because I was black or that I needed to go back where I came from :) But as time went on, many brave people came up to talk to me to find out where I come from, why did I want to visit Argentina. Sorry I failed to mention that I am about six feet tall as well. I felt really welcomed there and relax because Argentines are really curious and very nice. So now I have many friends there in Buenos Aires and I can't wait to go back in December of this year. Knowing what I know now, I feel really sad for our United States because people don't realize how sometimes kids are conditioned to be/behave a certain way because of the color of their skin. I really think that needs to change, but I have high hopes that it will.

If anyone has any questions to ask me, do not hesitate to email bgtgrl2002@yahoo.com

Thanks

8/25/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Rodney said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/22/2008 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger tangocherie said...

Just to give you my perspective on this very interesting topic as a white American expatriate who's lived in BsAs for 5 years.

Generally speaking I have to say that I think Argentines are racist but in a kind of innocent way. I try to explain to my Argentine partner Ruben that when he's speaking to foreigners, they might not appreciate being called Negro, Chino, whatever, whereas here it can be a pet name, and it's not meant negatively.

The other thing is I'm a tango dancer and teacher, and I've noticed over the years that when a foreign black dancer, either man or woman, goes to a milonga, they are looked on as exotic, and EVERYONE wants to dance with them. So tango-wise, being physically different can be an asset.

There was much local talk about our electing a black president, and I think it was touched with wonder and respect.

11/12/2008 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

om comment on the immediately prior post which read, in part: "There was much local talk about our electing a black president, and I think it was touched with wonder and respect."

Well hopefully all that wonder and respect will translate into them not STARING at Black visitors in BA... like we are creatures on display in a zoo... I fail to see how that behavior is as you say "innocent" - BA is supposed to be a cosmopolitan city with a well educated, widely exposed people who are imbued with American movies and TV shows - how does it escape them that STARING at someone because of the color of their skin is uncomfortable for the person whom they are STARING???? How is that humane in any respect or regard? I wonder if they STARE that way when they are in a multi-racial city say Miami where a LOT of them live and work or NYC or London - 'innocent' - arrogant and cold with no respect for other human beings is more like it...

11/20/2008 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Claudio said...

I am a black, Angolan male who has been living in the US for 15 years, having also lived intermittently in Angola, Portugal, and the UK. I currently attend a university in Boston but will be studying abroad in BsAs next semester.

I have followed these posts and the blog in general with a lot of interest for quite some time now. Having lived in the above places, and now in Boston, I have grown quite accustomed to being the obvious minority, especially in the boarding school I attended in the UK.

So it was with curiosity that I stumbled upon this blog and learned about the absence of blacks, black culture, and black heritage in Argentina. After doing some research I learned that there is in fact some sort of black history in this South American country, and many African descendants did live here - some even go so far as to say that the tango is a direct product of African culture in Argentina. But today some blacks are apprehensive of going to Argentina.

Frankly, I cannot wait to got to BsAs. I am very excited. As a proud Angolan, and African, I have never been minimally intimidated, ashamed, or even apprehensive about my skin color. I would never not go to a place as vibrant and alive as BsAs just because people might stare at me. Let them stare. I am the one experiencing a completely different culture, new tastes, new sights and sounds, and that is what I will cherish.

I am sure that I will make several friends in this country, friends that are human beings capable of understanding that skin color is not the determinant of a person's worth.

I would hope that all blacks looking to visit BsAs feel the same way.

It is with this kind of mindset that I will live in BsAs. For six months. And after I start, I will write here again and tell whoever is interested how great it really is.

Life is what you make of it.

12/02/2008 04:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

willful ignorance is bliss, the nieve are often the ones to change the world.. good luck with that... I for one would like to hear how your stay in BA goes... I'd like to know how much one can truly enjoy an experience when others constantly stare at them and make them feel less than human or like a creature on display in a zoo... looking forward to your honest update... and I do sincerely hope you enjoy BA...

Sincerely,
Someone who has travelled extensively, is an immigrant now living in the US, an have lived and studied in 3 different counties

12/13/2008 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gimena said...

I was only 10 yrs old when I first saw a person of color. "No mires" DON'T LOOK, my father would say to me. This occured in the US on my first day of arrival to Texas where I currently reside. You see, in Argentina I was never exposed to any one of color. For the 10 years that I lived there I was always referred to as "negra" myself! Che, negra! Friends and family called me negrita out of love because I have a nice natural tan.... I never took it negatively. But here in the US my family quit calling me negra because it could be taken as a malitious comment. I think the whole thing is rediculous here in the US. But it is what it is so adaptation is a must. Like others have mentioned, in Argentina if you are skinny, you will be called "skinny." If you are bald...."baldy" and there is nothing to it!!! People in Argentina are very direct and honest, why make a big deal, I love it when they call me negra!!

1/04/2009 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santiago, Chile.
I am black American, living in Santiago Chile. Next door to Argentina, this country also has no population of blacks to speak of. I am very athletic in appearance, young and strong, attractive. I get looks, stares, conversation, smiles, strangers at bars and restaurants will look and want to join for a night revalry. But always only for enjoyment of the moment. No matter how nice the evening it never brings friendships. No matter how nice a Chilean has been to me, no matter how interested in me a female or group of females had been at any particular moment and yes with exchange of contact information, telephone etc. Painfully it is always, always, always followed up later in time with with no offer of friendship, no telephone calls, no invitations, no answer and no return of my phone calls, no acceptance of my offer of friendship. All the population I have come in contact with in 3 years have a prevailing group mentality of no interest in befriending persons that are different than what themselves. I have lived here 3 years...my only willing, open, socializing and accepting friends are Americans and other international expatriots or travelers. Remember that the Chileans have been and are always polite, nice, smiling helpful, curious and yes the looks from those who may not be used to seeing a young black man are mostly curiosity. But don't let that fool you into thinking you will ever be more, after all you are not Chilean, and you are Black. I have thought often about going to Argentina but Chileans, internet, blogs and my extensive varied worldly social experience etc all suggest that Argentines will be worst. Having lived in Miami all of my life prior, I can tell you latinos in Miami don't give a toss to share there lives nor employment with cultures other than latinos unless they wish to "whiten up". Most latino country immigrants though to different degrees.

2/14/2009 07:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Ximena said...

Santiago Chile

I’m sorry that you have encountered people with a lack of cultural awareness and the inability to judge a person by their character . Your prediction about the situation being even worst in Argentina are probably correct. People often struggle to give up relationships even if those relationships limits them from something far more interesting and new. Therefore, they stick with their norms and disregard anything outside their comfort zone or resources. Those people you met, who didn’t return calls or simply denied the possibility of ever forming any sort of friendship, have closed a door of opportunities. Opportunities to learn more about you, the world, and themselves. When I travel to Argentina, It would be an honor for me to be your friend.
Sincerely,
Ximena

2/16/2009 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous from Santiago, Chile.

Your response was the most honest and logical.... Most people do not recognize that being black (of African decent ) has a great deal of negativity attached to it. Unfortunately, the image that has come from the US of African Americans has been very negative, (gangsta rappers, sports people, thugs,criminals, etc...) has not help to put us in our rightful place on the world stage. The elections of Barack Obama has certainly put a dent in that negative image. There is a whole world of Africans and African Americans who are doctors, lawyers, scientist (that's what I am), professors, etc.. the list goes on. Luckily my research background shows that there is less than 2% of our genetic material that makes up for race... Most people on the planet do not understand that and therefore are locked in a belief that there is something wrong with people who are of African decent. If they only knew that ALL human life on earth can be traced back to Africa millions of years ago they might have a different outlook. Your analysis is spot on and I commend you for your clarity....

2/17/2009 03:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ximena Miranda said...

To Anonymous from Santiago, Chile:
Thank your for your sincerity and openness to discuss this personal and sensitive matter. As an Argentine women living in the US, I also face a similar situation. With limited financial resources ( I dislike the term poverty) and parents who didn’t complete High School, I had to be the person who would eventually understand that “success does not come by accident.” I would have to work twice as hard to find my entrance into a country that doesn’t always welcome immigrants. Non the less, society expects women to stay home and raise a family (specially in the Latin Culture). Even though there are fixed expectations that society imposes on you, you must rise above and go beyond to set the bar as high as possible.
After a brief study of Barack Obama’s childhood and educational journey, it doesn’t amaze me to see the person that he is today. It is such a great opportunity for our kids to see that an African American can take a position of great power and responsibility. They need to see more and more of these individuals every day. The more exposure they get to a person of African decent fulfill roles of prestige, the greater the chances that an African American child will see himself/herself following their footsteps.
The negative images that chases after the African people will not be easily erased, however now our new leader gives birth to a new light, illuminating upon the entire world, the beauty and intelligence of a culture which today evokes perseverance.

Ximena M.

2/18/2009 01:47:00 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I am a Chicago born woman of African descent. I am soon embarking on a study abroad to Ba, Ar. At first I was a little worried from reading the comments from various people that have been. I must say Thank you to everyone for the input, and general idea of what I should expect when I get there. I wonder if there are places where black women can get their hair done at, braids? Are there black neighborhoods?

I have traveled to Costa Rica but there were dark skinned people there, even though they weren't american black. There weren't any hair salons for black hair, but people didnt stare. Costa Rica was fabulous, and my passion for more Latin American(..??) culture and music made me want to go to BA.

I will be staying there for 4 months, starting in August 2009, and hope I love it and get to stay longer...

Are there clubs where they play hip-hop? Im not going all the way to BA to listen to the same stuff I listen to hear, but sometime or another you want a piece of home!!

~Life IS what you make it, so make it count!!~

3/30/2009 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Christine said...

Hi Christina,
I lived in Buenos Aires for a bit of time and Ithink you will have a wonderful time. There aren't any salons that I know of that specialized in Afro hair. I wear mine natural so I had two amazing barbers. In the barrio of Albasto you will find an African population. On Mondays go to the Klonex to see La Bomba.(Drumming group/candombe) There are many Africans present that you could speak to about braiding. All and all I had an amazing time. The Argentines were very friendly and willing to talk if you allow them to ask questions. I went on vacation in April 2007 and decided to talk time off and go live in Buenos Aires January 2009. Will there be some stares..yes, at times but I didn't feel threatened. Yes we do exist maybe not in the dark hues you may think but its amazing how many family photos I saw of elder members and they were of African/indian decent. Good luck in August. I'm back in the states but please feel free to contact me cscobirds2@aol.com

5/03/2009 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an African-American Male,whos thinking about spending this summer in B.A. and was just wandering, when I get to B.A. will I need to hire a translator or can people there speak a bit of english,also I always heard Argentine women were some of the most beautiful women in the world, I was just wandering if there were certain hot spots in B.A. where I would find these women.

5/31/2009 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ximena Miranda said...

Hello Anonymous!

I'm an Argentine/American who will also be spending her summer in Bs.As Most people will not speak English! In places like airports, banks and touristic places you might find people who will be able to speak with you in English, but start studying your "Castellano"

As far as beautiful women, you will find them EVERY WHERE! It depends on your taste and what you are looking for exactly.

Hope to see you in Buenos Aires!!!

5/31/2009 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Sebastian. Argentinean. White if it matters (actually kind of pinkish, milk is white).

First I want to say a few words to the previous anonymous poster who is always talking about inferiority and Zoos. I know the history of relations between whites and blacks in some countries (not Argentina) is awful. That said you sound so resented. The racists can’t touch you anymore, they can’t do most of the terrible things they did in the past and would like to do still, so don’t give them the pleasure of being bitter and resented. It will just hold you back and that’s what they want.
Now to the subject of this post.
I believe it's almost impossible to have a problem in Buenos Aires for being black. Sorry if the word offends you, but for me African American is more offensive and shows more prejudice that the simple word. In Spanish the word we use in NEGRO, it is the same word that applies to the color and quite literally BLACK. Don't be mislead by the resemblance of the Spanish word with the word negroe or nigger that the stupid racists use. It may have a similar root in Latin but the meaning is different and it totally lacks any negative connotation. Even more, the fact that we don't need a complicated way to call a black person shows there were never issues with that race. The opposite applies to the USA.

If people stare (glances more likely) at you is out of curiosity. Many people up until recently had never seen a black person in their lives. But there is no animosity in that. Perhaps unintended rudeness if the stare is too obvious.
On the other hand most back persons will be considered to be Americans and a small number of people (let me stress small) do have certain animosity towards the Americans, not to a point of generating violence. As American you will be seen as a citizen of the developed world, not much different of a white American.

The only "discrimination" if we remember discriminate actually means treating different not always worse, you can experience is receiving more attention.
That can take many forms.
It can be the attention any tourist receives, augmented by the fact that most people will notice you are a visitor because there are not black Argentineans anymore, specially pure blooded. There may be black blood in some people here but mixed to a point were it's not easy to notice. So you are the Star :-). But if it makes you feel better, white Americans are easy to spot too, don’t ask me why, I really don't know. Italians are easy to spot too, they speak as loud as we do, but that’s another story. Seriously speaking tourists always stand out.

You can also be noticed if you are an attractive lady (I guess a man too), causing to be stared at more often than you are used too. This is because of two reasons; first we latins look more openly to any attractive lady. Second because even when Argentinean women are very beautiful, a beautiful black woman would be something Argentineans are not used to. A rare gem if you like. Nothing negativity here either. It won’t go any further than a look.

So coming to Buenos Aires is something you can absolutely do. The rest o the country I’m not so familiar with. People in the smaller town in Argentina are usually very nice and never violent. I can't believe you can have a problem there either.
You might be the talk of the town though. You know how small towns are, anything new is big news.
So you are most welcome to come to Argentina.

11/16/2009 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Sebastian... WELL SAID!! I 100% agree... I can say that as a black woman in Buenos Aires it is... umm... interesting. Maybe if I liked attention I would say for a black woman it is the place to be. But because I don't like all the attention on me, It is trying at times. But Sebastian is rite, its like you are a rare gem. And you may get chatter from the street guys and the taxistas and random people at the boliches... but it is not harmful and it is very tranquil here...especially since Obama is president!! lol

Some days it is annoying that people stare SO HARD, but after being here for 3 months I have gotten use to it...But I have been mistaken for Brazilian, Panamanian, Cuban, and Dominican, but I love the ones that are brave enough to ask! Of course they seem surprised when I say Los Estados Unidos, but they still like you all the same!! ..side note: they really don't like 'Yankies', but then again who does after Bush??!! But its not to the point where ppl are violent or blatenly rude.

GOD Bless Argentinos, they are wonderful people. This is a wonderful place (especially if you are morena) and the men are such romanticos!! lol They have a rich history, a beautiful culture and people aren't crazy like in the states. Too bad my adventure is coming to an end.

11/17/2009 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger al kiovanni said...

...wow what an eye opener , what a blog...my name is al i live in a burb of detroit...da big-D-...my first memory of argentina was when i was in the fifth grade...and after i heard the word it was like a spiritual awekening and that has comtinued to this day . i know buenos aires like the back of my hand , yet i have never been there . as it turns out , i was a porteno in a past like , yeah go ahead and laff it up , but i have come to accept it . i no the language the culture , the people , things i should not know . i would love to visit and even retie in my beloved land of my yesteryear...GOD BLESS ARGENTINA , I LOVE YOU , I ALWAYS HAVE , AND I ALWAYS WILL . however , the challenge this time around is , this time i am black , mixed , but black never the less...wow...and how do you like me now...ok , questions comments , insights are welcomed at this time...esta vez les vamos a ganar...

12/09/2009 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 27 year-old Black male looking to travel to BA for an unknown period of time. I look forward to a place where there are not many blacks and therefore not a lot of deeply rooted attitudes towards us like those that exist in the USA. I can barely stand the U.S. anymore, as it is the most racist country in the world in my opinion. To be successful, even Blacks distance themselves from other Blacks here. I just want to go somewhere and experience a new kind of racism at least.

My only concern with Argentina is that I like women with small waists and nice big round butts. Is this possible to find in Argentina where being thin is most popular and there are not many black women with these sexy curvy bodies? Skinny bony model types do not appeal to me.

6/05/2010 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Lmao. Well boo, Brazil is a bus ride away and you will love it there. Leave your inhibitions here. BA is the most rocking place in the world!!! Ppl will stare and think your brazillian but it's okay. Just make sure you know they are American too. Suerte!

6/06/2010 01:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely understand where you are coming form, 'anoymous'. The dating scene is...different in Buenos Aires especially if you are used to beeing around a majority of blacks as is the case in the states. I am a black latina woman living in Buenos Aires and I prefer to date black men...I don't think that is going to happen any time soon. lol. but this wonderful city makes up for it in beauty and culture :)

6/17/2010 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to point something interesting. Most argentines have never interacted personally with a black person.

Our perception of black people comes from the USA media, that doesn't do a great job portraying them in a good light. Think about the movie fast a furious two, and how much of an idiot the black character was. Think about how many movies have a black man (or a non white person in general) as a main character (having troubles going beyong Will Smith and Denzel Washington?). Generally black or non white in general are portrayed and side kicks, irrelevant, evil or comic relvies.

That is not favourable to how black people are percieved all over the world.

8/12/2010 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that people in other countries such as Turkey and Greece where the general population do not have many interactions with Black people/non-White people in general, yet, somehow they, unlike the Argentines manage to NOT stare at Black people like they are creatures in a zoo? They see the movies that the US media spews out as well - yet they manage to see the POSITIVE side of Black Americans as well and manage to remember the REALITY that people are people regardless of color; and character is formed by CULTURE and upbrining, not race... There are Black Americans like Oprah who are not criminals and who are not portrayed in a negative light - please try to remember that. After all, I don't think all White men are serial killers just because the US media spews movies and news about White serial killers like Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy and multiple others,practically everyday. Think about it...

10/10/2010 12:33:00 AM  
Anonymous mich10 said...

Hey guys,
I'm an argentinian teen girl who frequently visits the States so I have seen and talked to many black people and began a friendship with a black boy (unfortunately, since I was just on a vacation, we lost contact). Anyways, I think that black people would be very welcome in Bs As, especially by teens and kids who have grown up with acceptance of other people's differences (of course... there is still a lot of progress that needs to be done, but compare 2010 to 1950's Louisiana..). Black, asian, indian people would be very much welcome!!

11/29/2010 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ "Don Gonzalito"...You sound like the tipical "Porteno" with his nose up, by saying: "Most people in Bs As of negro features you see on the streets in Argentina today are either tourists or Uruguayans"
Don't you know that Argentina has a 4% black population making 1.6 million argentines blacks currently living there.
I know this, becuase I live here in Bs As (San Telmo).
You should take pride in them, they're OUR people too, like or not!

2/21/2011 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any Black people living in Buenos Aires or other part of Argentina whether for work or otherwise?

I'm interested in hearing about their experiences...

1/13/2012 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Jojo said...

Wow!

This blog has been a real eye-opener. I am a black Englishman who descends from Ghana, West Africa. I found this blog whilst looking for a book: "The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires 1800-1900". This interest was triggered when a friend told me that West African descendants of slaves created the Tango in Buenos Aires.
My brother went to Buenos Aires about ten years ago with his wife. He loved it because of all the positive things mentioned above by other bloggers. But he was concerned about the treatment of Native Argentines (referred to as "Indians") often ushered away by police like vermin and excluded from the mainstream. I hope this has changed. There is no point in me going to a place and having a wonderful time, whilst others suffer in a place that claims "cosmopolitanism". Something tells me this can change. If it does, it will throw Buenos Aires into the limelight as a true bohemian getaway.

Peace.

1/14/2012 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

I have been following this blog for a while and find it very informative and interesting. First of all, I took two spanish courses in college and my professor was from BsAs and hence i have fallen in love with the language and the Argentine culture ever since. I am estadounidense of Chinese descent and i would love to visit the country of my dream one day. I noticed that the issue being addressed here was mainly on trearment towards blacks which i found some posts to be quite positive. Now, could any of you share any experience with how Asians are treated and perceived in Argentina. Prior to posting this, i had learned that there was a small population of asians residing in BsAs, and that there were stereotypes about them. To mention a few, the chinese all own supermarkets, the japanese run dry-cleaning businesses and so on. I am so curious to how these communities are getting along with the rest of the majority? In addition, would i expect "stares" from the locals as well if i were to travel to BsAs? I really appreciate any info shared by all of you!

1/23/2012 05:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi all! i'm lali from buenos aires

i've travelled to united states a few times and i get on well with lot of black people. So you shouldn't be afraid of visiting us, we aren't racist like some people said, we have our open arms to you (specially black males LOL)

peace, byee

3/25/2012 02:30:00 PM  

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