There is a multitude of races populating the United States. This diversity is one of America’s many unique aspects. One of the many foreign people that immigrated to the U.S. were the Italians, who brought with them their beautiful culture and have shared it with the rest of the country ever since. Aside from their influence in food, the Italians have a lot more to offer to Americans.
A Brief History
In 1800 to 1920, about 4 million Italians migrated in the U.S. due to the Italian unification and political unrest in most part of Southern Italy. Similar to most that moved to the country, the Italians faced many challenges – discrimination being one of them. But despite these hardships the Italians prevailed.
Hard work was the major foundation that propelled the Italian community to what it is now. They have flourished through America, with Italian neighborhoods growing continuously in large cities such as New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, and many others.
Even though it was quite the task for the early immigrants to settle comfortably in the land that they had fled into, their descendants have made quite the economic contributions for the country.
From enlisting in the war, serving the public as political figures, having a hand in breakthroughs in science, medicine, and engineering, to incorporating their cuisine in the American culture, which has been quite popular in the U.S.
Perhaps the most notable of these contributions came from Amadeo Giannini, who founded the Bank of Italy which then became the Bank of America.
But as they say, you have to take the good and the bad. And there were Italians that had left a negative mark in the history of the U.S., one of which is the notorious Chicago mobster Al Capone who rose to prominence during the Prohibition era.
Issues Faced by the Community
Since their arrival, the Italian community has blossomed and has continued to grow as a society that represents one of the many races that occupy the country.
It is, however, not free from problems, one of which has been lingering since the arrival of the first Italians: discrimination. Despite equality being enforced by the law, there are instances where Italians feel that they are being discriminated. Whether from school, work, or in some cases in public, there are still people of American descent who prejudices their Italian counterpart.
But these issues sometimes stem from the community. While hard-working, some families lack the time to provide their youths with guidance which sometimes lead to delinquency. There is also the matter of exclusivity that tends to alienate other races.
The Current State
As of now, there are millions of Italians inhabiting the United States, living side by side with other people of different descent, sharing cultures and traditions. While there are existing problems faced by this community, it will surely be overtaken by these individuals, who from the very beginning have shown great resilience and stout hearts in times of hardships and seemingly insurmountable challenges.