Why we need to contribute to Italian American Studies at Loyola

Dec 28, 2014 1100

by Tom Secco

We need to contribute,we need to contribute now. We need to contribute not only so our stories will not be forgotten, not only so we have some semblance of control about our stories but even so our stories already told in film and in books will not be misunderstood or forgotten.

We need to contribute to make sure that people now and later understand that those films and books that truly tell our stories have their feet firmly planted in what's real.

We need to contribute, we need to contribute now. We need to honor those people who thought that plain honest hard work was their way to a better life or those who thought that education was their way to a better life and ,yes, even those who thought that violence was their way out of poverty . Because all of it should be truthfully told.

We need to contribute because our families are increasingly diverse, our neighborhoods have become achingly small and fragile and the church in its universal message has gone to serve newer immigrants. So, we need to consciously support those trained sympathetic story tellers, those historians who will ensure that we do not become an interesting footnote to the history of this great country.

We need to contribute so that the struggle and achievements, the joys and the sorrows, and the strengths and the weaknesses of all our Italian-American predecessors are not forgotten and are passed on in the truth not only only to our children but to their contemporaries who will not know those stories unless we ensure their true preservation.

We need to contribute so that never again will our last names be the punchline for a joke distorted by one stereotype after another.

We need to contribute because the muscles in our bodies are those of Italian-Americans, the thoughts in our heads are those of Italian-Americans, and the passions in our hearts are those of Italian-Americans. Our contributions will become part of our stories.

We need to contribute, we need to contribute now.
Tom Secco

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