The places in both of these photos mean the world to me. They are snippets of my parents’ hometowns in southern Italy.
The first, taken 10 years ago, is of a small town in the hills of Salerno called Roscigno. My father was born and raised here, and—at just 20 years old—he decided to leave it all behind to pursue the American Dream in New York. He didn’t have a degree nor did he know English, but he worked hard and soon became the owner of a very successful pizzeria in the Bronx.
The second photo, taken two summers ago, shows the main church of my mother’s hometown—Domanico—in Cosenza. Her parents, my nonni, left behind their beloved Calabria in hopes of creating a better life for their children. My grandfather, with no knowledge of English, commuted by subway and was a bricklayer in Manhattan. My grandmother soon became a hairstylist and slowly learned English. They successfully raised their three girls in the Bronx and are now great-grandparents.
My latest blog post is an ode to the immigrants that made and molded the United States. The ones that knew no English but learned. The ones that still don’t know English. The ones that work tirelessly to provide for their family. The ones who were mocked and ostracized. The ones who still face bigotry and prejudice today. The ones that never forgot where they came from. The ones that have enriched our nation with their wonderful customs and traditions. THANK YOU!
-An American Immigrant Living in Italy
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