Sunday, July 14

Opinion

Why Pummarolə?
Opinion

Why Pummarolə?

Some explanation of our name by Samantha Pinto, on behalf of Pummarolə July 31, 2020 Image description: Painting by Renato Guttuso, Sicilian painter. Five red, furrowed tomatoes appear on a brown and white background, perhaps a wooden table. Pummarola is the Neapolitan word for tomato. What food staple is more emblematic of the Italian Diaspora than the tomato? It is the basis of gravy (otherwise known as “pasta sauce”) whose acidic-garlicky scent wafts through the streets of South Philly every Sunday afternoon. The tomato, despite being native to Central America, has become the basis of our peasant dishes, our street foods, and our comfort foods. Like the Italian diaspora, it’s a fruit that has been contested, mischaracterized, and sometimes maligned; yet, it has also become ...
Philly Italian Americans Sign Open Letter for Racial Justice
Opinion

Philly Italian Americans Sign Open Letter for Racial Justice

by Samantha Pinto and Jeanne D’Angelo, in collaboration with the forthcoming Philly Radical Italian Network July 22, 2020 For too long, mainstream Italian-American organizations have claimed to speak for everyone in our community, framing critiques of figures like Columbus as attacks on all Italian-Americans. These organizations ignore those who work in solidarity with Black liberation and Indigenous self-determination movements as well as the racial and ideological diversity of the people who make up the Italian diaspora. Many of us support the removal of all public monuments devoted to symbols of white supremacy and violence, like Christopher Columbus and Frank Rizzo. These conversations have been reignited by the recent protests in Philadelphia in response to the mur...
Why Italian Americans Should Support Black Lives Matter
Opinion

Why Italian Americans Should Support Black Lives Matter

by Ross Caputi To the dismay of many Italian-Americans, statues of Christopher Columbus have become a target of the abolitionist wrath elicited by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Though once seen as permanent fixtures of our cultural landscape, the month of June has cast a precarious future on many of the most well-known statues in our communities. All symbols of historic and contemporary racism have suddenly become candidates to be torn down. The fallen Christopher Columbus statue outside the Minnesota State Capitol after a group led by American Indian Movement members tore it down in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 10, 2020. The reaction from the Italian-American community has been mixed, with some interpreting the vandalism of Columbus statues as an attack on Ita...