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Backstories: Afro-Italian Women Writers

July/August 2021

Image of woman and peony, entitled Maggio, by Iranian artist Nazanin Rastan, also known as Mafreshou
Image: Nazanin Rastan, "Maggio." Courtesy of the artist.

This issue presents writing by Afro-Italian women. In the face of xenophobic rhetoric and policies, Black Italians have pushed their country to confront its colonial past and engage with its present diversity. The writers featured here plumb both contemporary and historical experiences of Blackness within Italy. Igiaba Scego recalls her experience in the Italian school system as the Black daughter of a Somali immigrant. Ubah Cristina Ali Farah depicts a Muslim teen in Rome discovering an unexpected connection to an alleged terrorist. Marie Moïse describes her search for her Haitian roots in her doubly displaced family history. And Djarah Kan gives voice to a Malian immigrant murdered by a Calabrian white supremacist. We thank our guest editors, Candice Whitney and Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, who with their fellow translators Aaron Robertson and Hope Campbell Gustafson provide an instructive introduction.

An empty playground with a merry go round
Photo by Loegunn Lai on Unsplash