How are the economics of the Afro Argentines?

February 7, 2013 | By

Question by Shenay H: How are the economics of the Afro Argentines?
History of the economics of the Afro Argentines, also the present economics of the Aro Argentines.

Best answer:

Answer by Andrew O
Not perfect, but it should help. Read the links for more.

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 were sent into batte, "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 thousand 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."

"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 the milonga, the zamba and the malambo. For this, many thank immigrants from other parts of South America.

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The Matrimony Music Video Filmed In Harlem & Partially In Times Square
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