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Afro-Argentines exist

We are going to break down two myths: that there are no Afro-Argentines and that Argentines are not racists. And,
As we are
12 October, 2019

It is common to hear Argentines say that we are not racists here. Contradictorously, it is also common to hear them say — almost proudly — that among our fellow citizens there are no black people. Both things, however, are a lie: there are Afro-Argentines and there are also (many) racists. To understand this a little better, we’re going to introduce you to Louis Yupanqui.

First things first. There are Afro-Argentines: the 2010 National Census recorded 149,493 people of African descent. In addition, according to some studies, 6% of Argentines have an Afro gene. They even have a day: November 8 is the “National Day of Afro-Argentines and Afro Culture”, celebrated in honor of María Remedios del Valle, a Afro-descendant who participated in the War of Independence. There is also the Association of Afro-Argentines Misibamba, which brings together Afro-Argentines from the colonial trunk.

The Afro population in Argentina, without however, is less than that of other countries in the region, and this is for historical reasons. On the one hand, people of African descent were sent to die in the wars of the nineteenth century, especially in Paraguay. On the other hand, they were victims of cholera and yellow fever epidemics. The ones that were left, were mixing with the creoles and their genetics got blurred. But they are. They’re still present.

A very special influencer

Louis Yupanqui is 20 years old and is one of the few Afro militants in Argentina. From his social networks, he defines himself as a black/Afro activist, because he actively participates against racism, and LGBT activist, because he also participates in favor of the rights of that social group.

Louis Yupanqui is the son of two Peruvians: his mother is of Afro descent and his father is descended from indigenous peoples. He grew up in Vicente López (Buenos Aires) and, as a boy, had to face a harsh reality: that of racism. That’s why he decided to endorse this struggle and give visibility to the Afro-Argentine community. Along with Jennifer Parker, another influencer, he is part of Alto Quilombo, a group of young Afro.

It is worth going around their networks and getting a little deeper into this reality, to realize that, although we often do not want to see it, racism is part of our daily lives. And that has to change.

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