The past decade has seen the emergence of a new form of racism in the United States that's a little subtler than past forms of racism, covert racism.  This can be the use of code words or other micro-aggressions. While talking to our Afro-Argentine cultural exchange partners I learned about a form of racism that is prevalent in Argentina: The denial of the existence of Argentine of African descent.

As Americans, we historically have felt that it is important for people to know our language, as we often times believe that English is the universally accepted language. This belief is problematic and hinders our possibility in seeing the beauty of language and how it connects people.

My advice for the assertive Black American abroad is to speak up and out without fear of being stigmatized, just as you would in the U.S. Set an example for those who look to you for guidance and reveal yourself to those who have never had the privilege of witnessing an articulate, Black intellectual. As Black Americans abroad, we have the power to change negative perceptions of the African descendant. We do the world a disservice by staying silent.

After the conversation, I began to look at Argentina, specifically Buenos Aires, with a different lens. My previous lens blinded me of the true Afro-Argentine experience. I find myself yearning to interact with this often forgotten demographic of people so much more. I have fallen in love with their culture and the way they view life.

This memory site is located near the La Plata river. The river holds a great significance in the stories of many of the desaparecidos because it is the resting place of for several thousand of those who disappeared. Some were taken on "death flights" where they were drugged, shackled and weighed down, and then pushed off of a flying plane into the river while they were still alive.