ONCE, WE WERE TAUGHT, he was a brave and bold explorer who sailed into the unknown and discovered the place we call home. Now, we understand, he was a genocidal mercenary who arrived thinking he was someplace else and kicked off five centuries of bloody oppression and exploitation. Okay, fine, nobody’s perfect, though it seems possible to believe he was both. Meaning we just have to decide which Columbus we’re going to ignore.
In mid September a group of scholars and public intellectuals created a blog in support of their call for “a new politics of memory inspired by the very values Italians mistakenly attached to the figure of Columbus.” Although we are not necessarily endorsing their positions, we believe the text merits attention and invite our readers to engage with its authors at nocolumbusday.wordpress.com
The Italian American community should celebrate the values of inter-racial solidarity, cultural exchange, and visionary humanism, which many mistakenly attached to the figure and legacy of Christopher Columbus
Immigration in the past, when Italians flooded into France, has lessons for today. Preparing for the future, Italian Interior Minister Minniti balks at the word "emergency" applied to immigration and sets new guidelines,
Migrants now make up 8.3% of the Italian population, even as the mild seas bring more arrivals. "The other European countries must stop just looking the other way," says Premier Paolo Gentiloni.
Columbus Citizens Foundation President Angelo Vivolo responded to the recent inquiries regarding the Christopher Columbus Monument in Columbus Circle.
Given the recurrent debate over monuments of dubious distinction I thought to remind people that, as I wrote in 1992: Five hundred years ago an Italian discovered America. Five hundred years later Americans have yet to discover Italians.
One out of five young Italians are now classified as neither working, studying or in training programs -- double the percentage of young NEETs in the rest of Europe. Six out of ten say they have scant hope of achieving their parents' standard of living.
Novelist Igiaba Scego, the author of "Adua," interweaves time, people, and tragedies, as her solitary character, Adua, whispers her most secret thoughts and dreams to Bernini's marble statue of an elephant in front of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
You might know Anthony Valerio from his previous stories, novels and biographies, and if you do, then you’ll have found that he is a master of the love story. Whether it’s street love in Brooklyn, the historical romance between Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi, or the illicit affair between a writer and a married woman that’s mediated by a gangster the common thread of them all is love: how people live with it and without it. In his latest work, Valerio reaches back to the Renaissance master Dante Alighieri and explores this theme in a very unique way.
Are we capable of knowing the full story of Christopher Columbus and its implications, and yet continue to revere him? Are we to trust our ability and that of our fellow citizens and students to study history and draw fair conclusions? Or must it be cleansed for consumption to erase the uglier aspects? As cities and school districts such as New Paltz in New York and others move to undo Columbus Day from the calendar, to rename it or to use it to express lessons of injustice and oppression, in the Guest Editorial that follows Steve Acunto, a business and cultural leader, calls for a reckoning from the vantage point not just of Italian Americans who are offended by the symbolic slap in the face this “delete” causes, but from the wider vantage point of all free people who read and study history and should be trusted to use their judgement freely – with the result that Columbus, on balance, would rightly deserve his heroic place in history… and on the calendar and in curricula.
Pope Francis at the tomb of Don Mazzolari, archpriest of Bozzolo, the priest whose books were withdrawn from the Holy Office. The same trip on which he also pays homage to Don Milani, the Prior of Barbiana. An attentive and sincere reflection that connects Pope Francis and the unheard prophet Don Mazzolari. The sensibility of two men coming from the suburbs, who, at different moments in history, knew how to open the windows and doors of the Church to the Spirit that constantly renews and transforms it.
The struggle over ius soli, or citizenship based upon place of birth, has turned the Senate into a battleground. It is also feeding into the larger clash over immigrants, the essential political battle underway in Italy today and tomorrow.
Much of what I think about Piero Bassetti’s notion of Italici and the term’s relationship to his equally innovative notion of the Glocal, appears in my introduction to his new book "Let’s Wake Up Italics! Manifesto for a Glocal Future," published by Bordighera Press. What follows is what I feel about this interesting idea.