Writer Jennifer Poe arrived in Buenos Aires armed only with contact info for the only stylist in a fifty-mile radius who could do black hair and a sense of adventure. Shortly after, she encountered a word she hadn’t heard before: morocha. According to Jennifer, “I thought people were calling me a roach—granted, some exotic breed of roach that only skittered through luxury—but a roach! When I found out they were basically saying, ‘Hey, black girl, hey!’ I took it as a term of endearment.” This was one of many things Jennifer would learn while living as a black woman in Argentina, a country where 0.4 percent of its 41 million inhabitants identified as Afro-Argentine in 2010, the first time in its history that the census counted race.
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