We’re kicking off a new project at the Italian American Podcast as we set out to collect the unique oral histories of the many fascinating Italian Americans from around the nation who we encounter daily.
This new initiative, called “Paesani of Interest: Italian American Stories,” kicks off this week with Warren Ciabattoni. Born in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, in a community that was decidedly not Italian, Warren shares how his formative experiences growing up as an outsider in pre-World War II America shaped his concept of his Italian American ethnicity through questions surrounding his given name when he joined the Pennsylvania State Police to his deep undercover work combating organized crime in the western part of the Keystone State.
He also tells about the stereotypes he and his family encountered and why he decided to focus on preserving and promoting his beloved heritage through his work with the Italian Sons and Daughters of America in his retirement.
It’s a first-hand encounter with a fascinating Italian American, and we hope it will inspire YOU to send us your suggestions for the next “Paesani of Interest” for us to add to our Italian American Stories oral history database! If you have a suggestion, be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Paesani of Interest” in the subject line.