, 2022-09-26 21:47:00,
Even as a new, far-right government comes into office in Italy after Sunday’s elections, Black and multicultural Italians are asserting their place in their country’s society.
By pushing for legal changes to systemically racist citizenship laws, providing support for Black Italians who feel isolated, or using media like Italian fashion to bridge divides, they are staking their claim in a country that sometimes tells them they’re not wanted.
Why We Wrote This
It’s not easy for Black Italians to grow up feeling Italian when significant portions of Italy treat them as outsiders. But legally, artistically, and socially, Black Italians are staking their claim to Italy.
Black Italians include people who were born and raised in Italy, but not only. The mix encompasses people who feel Italian but also hold a pride in their Blackness and a broader sense of connection to a Black diaspora, says Camilla Hawthorne, who studies migration and citizenship.
Italy does not collect racial data in its population census, so it is hard to estimate the number of Black Italians. But citizenship rights activists put children born and raised in Italy but lacking citizenship at about 1 million.
“For this generation of young people who were born and raised in Italy … they see themselves as totally Italian,” says Dr. Hawthorne. “But there is always this moment that happens … where they realize that even though they feel totally Italian, they are not viewed by the rest of the…
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