Black Music Month in Argentina and Uruguay

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 6:30pm

In celebration of Black Music Month, the Lapidus Center presented the documentary film Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango. Directed by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro Tango Negro, a beautiful and rich film, explores the African roots of tango in Argentina and Uruguay. The auditorium was at capacity with well over 300 enthusiastic spectators.

Watch the trailer

The screening was followed by a conversation with Alex Borucki, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and author of From Shipmates to Soldiers: Emerging Black Identities in the Rio de la Plata. A finalist for the Harriet Tubman Prize, From Shipmates to Soldiers is an in-depth exploration of the lives and cultures of Africans and their descendants in Argentina and Uruguay who, regrouped in African “nations”, organized African-based celebrations, and developed their own cultures, music and dances.

Professor Borucki was in conversation with Keyanah Freeland, a PhD Candidate in History at NYU who researches diasporic connections throughout the region of the Río de la Plata during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Watch the video

For more:

Paulina L. Alberto and Eduardo Elena (eds.) Rethinking Race in Modern Argentina. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

George Reid Andrews, The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900.  Wisconsin University Press, 1980.

George Reid Andrews, Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay. University of North Carolina Press, 2010.



Documents in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division of the the Schomburg Center:

Black Society of the Tauza Nation in Buenos-Aires, 1828

Forced Draft of Slaves into the Argentine Armed Forces, 1813

This manuscript contains detailed information regarding the number of slaves passing through Mar del Plata and the various prices of enslaved Africans introduced during the four-year period.


Chart listing various statistics among the free black population in Buenos Aires by parish, 1813-15. Includes the number of births, stillbirths, total births and deaths, and the total free black population.