Do you have roots in 'The Boot'? What does being Italian mean?

Sep 09, 2014 1294

By Gina Biancardi

Are you one of the 175,000 Italian-Americans living on Staten Island? Whether you consider yourself "Italian-American" or "American-Italian" or simply American with some traces of Italian ancestors, I wonder what significance being "Italian" has to you and to your family.

For me, as a first-generation Italian-American, my parents immigrated to the United States in 1960, newly married, with a dollar and a dream. I witnessed them working night to day so they could provide for their children more then what they could have provided had they remained in impoverished Southern Italy, post-World War II. I also witnessed their alienation, humiliation awnd suffering in mainstream America as they tried to fit in to a foreign culture and learn a foreign language.

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