About a year ago I bought an issue of Feminist Review, entitled "Italian Feminisms." It was a really great issue, though, I read and forgot about it for a while. I found it again last weekend, and re-read a piece on Italian feminist organization/network, Sexyshock.
Journalist to construction boss, 1890s: "Is an Italian a white man?"
Construction boss:"No sir, an Italian is a Dago."
(taken from Louise DeSalvo's, "Color: White/Complexion: Dark")
In 2002, NYC DJ Chuck Nice, a black man, said: "Italians are niggaz with short memories" (Guglielmo & Salerno 1). The Italian American claim of "whiteness" has been a contentious issue in the United States, going far back before DJ Nice's comment. It began back in Europe with sayings like, "Europe ends at Naples. Calabria, Sicily, and all the rest belong to Africa."
I am constantly questioned about my ethnic and racial identity. Apparently, I do not resemble "America."