Italian American Heritage Month is drawing to a close, and for our final episode of October, we’re inviting in a few outside voices to join us as we try to untangle the often-in-the-news topic of Christopher Columbus, his legacy, the holiday that bears his name, and his meaning for the modern Italian American.
As the “Columbus Question” continues to evolve within America’s popular dialogue, many Americans- including Italian Americans- are revisiting the historical portrait of the Genovese navigator, and communities all across the nation are torn over how we memorialize the man and his impact on world history every second Monday in October. And of course (as we explored in Episode 112) we Italian Americans have become the community most closely identified with, and now often-times defending, this man and his impact.
But how deep are we really taking the conversation? This week we have invited three guests to call into the show to help us dig-deeper into the various questions surrounding this delicate debate. We’ll speak to a listener from Florida, a wife and mother who is both Italian and Indigenous American about her experience sharing Columbus Day with her kids. Dr. Anthony Tamburri, Dean of the Calandra Italian American Institute will call us to explore the often-incomplete historiography around Columbus, and to examine the role of Italian American Academia in the ongoing dialogue. And finally, we’ll speak to John Calvelli, Vice-Chairman of NIAF and a leading figure in the institutional Italian American community to probe the ways Italian Americans can broaden the coalition discussing a figure and a celebration with international roots and national implications!
We’re sure we won’t settle the debate here, but we hope our efforts will continue to make it a better-informed and more civilized one for all who listen.