No matter how much we think we have progressed in our social and ethnic evolution, there is always someone to raise the ugly head of bigotry, reminding us that the 1950s — when WASPdom reigned supreme — may still, to some degree, be with us today.
Italian America has lost one of its greatest poets and thinkers. In exhorting his Italian/American sisters and brothers to learn of their history, he once stated, "There is no ontology without archaeology!" Felix always knew how to say what had to be said.
Virginia elected official Salvatore Iaquinto is very much off the mark with his original “Godfather” ad and his follow-up commentary. But sitting back and lamenting only is, to be sure, worse than the objectionable actions we abhor.
Dear readers of i-Italy,
a crisis is brewing that threatens the future of Italian language studies in the United States. And unless we take a stand, the American educational system may diminish the role of Italian in high schools and colleges.
When our role models leave us, where do we go to look for others? This is, for sure, one of the questions that arises after the loss of both Rudi Vecoli and Rocco Caporale, two intellectual giants of the Italian/American community nation-wide.
I had a recent conversation with Professor Calabretta-Sajder, Dean of the New Jersey Lago del Bosco camp. I asked him to respond to a few questions of mine so that I could share this with a larger public. Programs like Lago del Bosco only assist those of us in the Italian-language teaching community; they prepare students for more advanced course in high school and college. Furthermore, they provide students with that one key that gains them access to Italian culture: language!
As many know by now, the future of the Advanced Placement Exam in Italian is on the chopping block after two and one-half years in existence. The language might seem a bit dramatic, but it clearly describes the current situation. Perhaps a bit more colorful and/or colloquial than one might expect, but we really need to be as transparent as we can about the critical status of the Advanced Placement Exam in Italian and, more important, the subsequent disadvantage to those high school students who have opted for Italian over the so-called canonical languages: those languages, we’ve been told, that have more currency within the greater United States' collective consciousness.
Education is the only way we can change people’s minds. A concerted conversation (i.e., coming together) on cultural philanthropy among/by Italian Americans is, I would submit, something necessary to bring to the table.