Title: Genealogist Recounts Immigrant History
Publisher: The Italian Tribune
As part of our tribute to National Women's History month the Tribune has chosen to acquaint our readers with Donna J. DiGiacomo, genealogist and history researcher. Donna is a native of Philadelphia who has contributed many articles to area newspapers and periodicals. However it is her book which we feature this week that has earned Donna recognition by the Tribune. Through her personal experiences and contact with local citizens and organizations, Donna has put together a concise written and pictorial history of Italian Philadelphia like none seen to date, Italians of Philadelphia.
Pointing out that only New York City had more Italian immigrants that Philadelphia, Donna moves on to tell how Italians had settles in Philadelphia as far back as Colonial times. Her written documentary details the mass immigration of the late 1800's and the impact on new arrivals had on the "Cittá dell' Amore Fraterno, The City of Brotherly Love." Many from the small towns in the Italian regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia,, and Sicily faced discrimination, language barriers, the separation of family by thousands of miles and work in unfamiliar trades.
Despite facing such drastic changes in their lives, they preserved and forged ahead while establishing some 14 "Little Italys" throughout the city. Each of these communities boasted it's own neighborhood identity, church, societies and blending of their old world customs with their new American lifestyles.
It contains photos of people and institutions that have all but been forgotten, except by those who lived through the era or heard the stories passed down by parents and grandparents. Not only do these photos convey the influence Italians had on the development of the city and how that spirit lives on today, but they may even bring a tear to the eye of those who lived through the times or those who wish they might have had the chance to have done so.
For any Italian American with ties to Philadelphia or anyone interested in Italian American History, this book is a must read.
For more information about the book or how to purchase a copy go to www.arcadiapublishing.com