Thursday, January 27

Tag: Columbus

It’s time to end Columbus Day: An Open Letter to the City of Philadelphia
Opinion

It’s time to end Columbus Day: An Open Letter to the City of Philadelphia

For too long we have honored colonizers and slave masters and silenced the history of Indigenous and enslaved peoples. It’s time for Philadelphia and the world to stop celebrating the architects of genocide and white supremacy. It’s time to end Columbus Day. Contro Colombo: Italian Americans for Indigenous People’s Day We are a growing group of Philadelphian Italian-Americans petitioning the City of Philadelphia to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day. We stand in solidarity with groups like Indigenous 215 and Indigenous Peoples Day Philly who have been making this demand for years. For too long, members of the Italian-American community have stood behind Columbus and lifted him up as our hero, but any student of history can plainly see he was not. T...
Italian Americans, forget Columbus
Opinion

Italian Americans, forget Columbus

The Christopher Columbus statue is removed in Grant Park in Chicago, following protests and police violence. By Luca Peretti Translated by Amy Bizzarri It’s early morning on June 24th when a few dozen Italian Americans have gathered around the statue of Columbus in the Italian neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. For days there had been rumors circulating about the removal of this statue inaugurated in the late nineteenth century, when the first Italian immigrants began to arrive here to work in local industry. Over the years, they would become the largest ethnic group of the city, and yet in the area surrounding the statue—in a neighborhood that has now changed immensely due to economic and historical forces—there are still the Catholic church, restaurants, social clubs, in...
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 ...
The Fascist Roots of Columbus Day
Stracciatella

The Fascist Roots of Columbus Day

A statue of explorer Christopher Columbus after its beheading by an unknown vandal. (Photo by Sarah Betancourt) This article was originally published by CommonWealth Magazine on June 25, 2020. The modern-day holiday has an inglorious history. by Patrick Breen AS STATUES OF Christopher Columbus are toppled (or beheaded), from St. Paul to Richmond to Boston, Americans are beginning to question the motive for raising certain historical actors to mythical status. Though almost every American will recognize Columbus’s name, the origins of the calendar-recognized October holiday remain insidiously unfamiliar to most people. While most arguments in favor of ending the tributes to Columbus focus on the history of the carnage he directed at indigenous people on the Caribbean islands...
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...
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