This dazzling collection of original essays from some of the country's leading thinkers asks the rather intriguing question - Are Italians White? Each piece carefully explores how, when and why whiteness became important to Italian Americans, and the significance of gender, class and nation to racial identity.
"This book cuts to the heart of the similarities and the differences between Italian Americans and African Americans, which historically has been a volatile mix...I applaud this insightful scrutiny." -- Spike Lee
"An outstanding collection... an all-around look at a group of people who have made a deep mark on, and been deeply marked by, the U.S. experience." -- Noel Ignatiev, author of How the Irish Became White
"Are Italians White? works from a strong antiracist premise and follows the thread of progressive, activist Italian-American history into the present. The essays lay out a careful, nuanced account of paesani (and Afro-paesani) lives in a multiracial, regionally diverse America. Bravo!" -- Micaela di Leonardo, author of Exotics at Home: Anthropologies, Others, American Modernity
"Reminds us what the study of whiteness was supposed to yield in the first place: the ultimate dismantling of racism. These thoughtful essays ought to be mandatory reading for anti-racists everywhere." -- Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"This exciting collection will forever change the way we think of the words 'Italian American.' Clearly provoked by the series of tragic incidents of racist violence in Italian American communities in the 1980s and 1990s, Are Italians White? is great social and cultural history." -- Robert A. Orsi, author of The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem
"This splendid collection sparkles as it surveys the myriad ways in which Italian Americans negotiated the vexed process of racial and ethnic identity formation in the twentieth century." -- Rick Halpern, author of Down on the Killing Floor: Black and White Workers In Chicago's Packinghouses