This article analyzes the rich corpus of stories about the dandy-turned-beggar Raúl Grigera, a popular Afro-Argentine street figure from early 1900s Buenos Aires. Stories about El Negro Raúl, told in hundreds of printed texts and images across multiple genres from the early 1900s to the present, reflected and reproduced ideas about degraded and disappearing blackness, and triumphant whiteness, in Argentina. Reading these racial stories alongside information about Raúl's life gleaned from archival sources, the article not only seeks to highlight the power of collective storytelling to construct ideas of whiteness and blackness in modern Argentina and to shape individual fates; it also offers a critical counternarrative of black presence and self-fashioned celebrity in a period for which the historical scholarship on Afro-Argentines has been scarce.

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