Flavor and Soul: Italian America at Its African American Edge Thursday, March 16, 2017
The Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series in Italian American Studies
Flavor and Soul: Italian America at Its African American Edge
John Gennari, University of Vermont
In the United States, African American and Italian American cultures have been intertwined for more than a hundred years. In Flavor and Soul (University of Chicago Press, 2017), John Gennari spotlights this affinity, calling it “the edge.” Through studies of music and sound, film and media, sports and foodways, he shows how an Afro-Italian sensibility has nourished and vitalized American culture writ large, even as Italian Americans and African Americans have fought each other for urban space, recognition of overlapping histories of suffering and exclusion, and political and personal rispetto. It is only at such cultural edges, Gennari argues, that the nation can come to truly understand its racial and ethnic dynamics.