AFRO-ITALIAN SITUATION

Pubblicato: 20 luglio 2018 in RACCONTI

Riporto qui una mail inviata alla rivista speakoutnow.org, dove collabora anche Angela Davis, in cui descrivo il fenomeno migratorio dagli anni ’90 a oggi, e le conseguenze personali  e della comunità nera in Italia, derivanti dalle trasformazioni strutturali di tale fenomeno.

 

Good morning,
my name is Federica. I am an Afro- Italian woman, adopted since birth. I lived surrounded only by whites people until the end of the 90s, : as a child I was considered the doll to touch, to hug and to take home; then became adult and the arrival of migrants was immediately subjected to the role of non-EU person, prostitute or caregiver.
Everything had changed around me. The friends who said “too many blacks are here, they steal and take away their jobs, the blacks stink, they are savages”. I did not understand and I wondered if they had noticed my color. They replied that they were not angry with me but with others: “you are not like them, you are like us, we do not see your color”. Yes, they, friends but the rest of Italy no.
To be honest, I too kept the new arrivals away: I did not know anything about Africa; I had only seen photos and films but, I was intrigued. The paradox: black who was afraid of blacks! No one had taught me to create an identity: I was the one that others reflected; I was white, I felt white: this is a phenomenon that often happens to adopted children. The Italian psychologists categorize the adopted children in one category, those of the abandoned, without knowing or studying our origins: even our DNA speaks!
With time, knowing first the Africans here in Italy and then in Africa and finally my family of origin, everything has been resolved and I have built my identity: Afro because I am in touch with my culture of origin and the my family, Italian is the context in which I grew up; and I no longer feel abandoned but grateful to my white Italian family, both positively acknowledging what they have given me, and negatively due to the fact that it is not always easy to say no, to get away and make my way.
Regarding the composition of Africans in Italy there are two very important aspects to be underlined. The first generation, arrived in the nineties, was an economic migration, driven by the need to improve one’s own condition of life, to enrich oneself and to help the family remained in Africa. Neither the Italian society nor the migrants themselves thought to stop in Italy permanently or for long periods so as to form families here: it was thought that the Italy was a place of passage, that is why, but it is not a justification, that they did not create adequate and lasting migration policies but only emergency interventions.
The only associative groups that were formed were those linked to the country of origin: ethnic aggregation.
Integration with the native population took place by work or by bringing children to school.
Now instead, the children of migrants, also called second-generation children, they feel fish out of water: they were born and raised in Italy, some have never been in Africa or do not speak the language of their parents, but they are not citizens Italian; not all, only those who have applied for or have had or their parents have had a job.
These guys and girls do not have a model of reference and often, “they mimic, you Afro-Americans in the way of dressing or attitudes or the more acculturated find a solution “métisage” cultural : speaking the language of the parents, that of the colonizers (French and English) and Italian , dressing in African and European or American clothes but, as some say, always remaining conscious of who we are.
Now they have created some more extended associations made by migrants for migrants, from second-generation children for the right to citizenship by birth “lo ius solis”, of solidarity between Italians and
foreigners but do not hesitate an association of African feminist women. The Italian feminists do not include us in their speeches, sometimes only with regard to the work aspect: equal rights and equal dignity; or involve us in the demonstrations to show a bit of “color more”.
in the discourses of the rebirth of the black conscience and of black pride, we in Italy talked a lot about you: of the your struggles, conquests, abuses and killings. But we are not like you, we have had another path. There is apparently not a racial institution but racist attitudes, especially in recent years, because of the economic crisis and therefore of values. We can not apply the models of struggle that you did: the Italian government would never listen to us; we can not even be united: Afro-Italian adults who do not understand Italian or foreign Afro boys and girls; Italian and foreign Afro boys and girls no longer respect adults; envy, cecity of understanding, this is happening online. There is talk of decolonization, of white supremacy, but the method that some Afro-Italians want to implement to form a single representative movement is a Western and oligarchic method: only professionals or intellectuals are grouped together to think about the future: who has not yet citizenship and has no proven intellectual abilities, is ousted.
Many Afro-Italian kids are helped financially by Italian white families and then online they say “they want to subdue us”.
In America you were united to fight apartheid, you were united in marching against violence and abuse. Here only some. Many are afraid, others are not interested. Here there are well-off Italians and freelancers who prefer to discuss in classrooms, while others are less well off on the streets: buying power divides blacks.
I’ve just been in New York: I saw a black child asking for money, a black woman urinating, in front of everyone, homelessly lying down on the street all day; black women who wondered among themselves who I was and from which part of the earth I arrived; a black woman bumped her metal bag on my thigh and told me I’m the stupid !! I expected smiles, I want to know other blacks in the world. Here there are political refugees or illegal immigrants who only sleep at night in the street, during the day they are around; only in Africa have I seen black children give alms; an African American is treated like a god, here with us. What happen ? where is your solidarity?.
It would be important to create an assembly of Afro Europeans and Americans in which we confront each other, share ideas for a better future.
Thanks for the attention
Federica De Matthias

 

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