Monday, February 23, 2009

The Italian American Experience

Anthony V. Riccio, author of The Italian American Experience in New Haven: Images and Oral Histories, now available in paperback, sent us some information on "Immigrant Voices," his very own radio show on WPKN Bridgeport (89.5 on the dial). Take it away, Anthony...

"Immigrant Voices" is a radio broadcast on WPKN Bridgeport which offers the listening audience the chance to hear oral history interviews with elderly Italian Americans from Boston and New Haven.

Each show will take as its theme a chapter from The Italian American Experience in New Haven and Recollections of an Italian American Neighborhood with Italian American storytellers who describe their experiences as immigrants in the rural farmlands of Italy, their arduous journeys to the new world in steerage class, how they clung to old world traditions and superstitions, their working experiences on production lines of mammoth factories during an age of urban industrial expansion, how Italian women toiled in terrible sweatshops for the success of future generations, and how their American-born children served in wars becoming loyal Americans and gradually assimilated into the American mainstream.

Regional Italian music transported to America by Italian immigrants from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s is also part of this broadcast and folk songs—ballads, love songs, and dances from Calabria, Campania, and Sicily—will be played and their themes translated and discussed for the listening audience.

Anthony tells us that he is planning his second show for sometime in March, entitled "Voices from The Great Depression." Visit for more information.