It Wasn't Always Easy Being Italian in America

Early Italian immigrants to the United States were often treated poorly and faced discrimination and prejudice. Italians began immigrating to the United States in large numbers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and they faced a number of challenges and obstacles.

One of the biggest challenges that Italian immigrants faced was discrimination. Italians were often seen as "unassimilable" and were subject to negative stereotypes and prejudice. They were also discriminated against in the job market and often faced low-paying and dangerous work in industries like mining and construction.

Italians also faced hostility from other immigrant groups, particularly from Irish and German immigrants who resented the influx of Italian immigrants. This sometimes led to violence, including riots and quite a few lynchings. Yes, you read that correctly, lynchings!

Italian immigrants were also subject to strict immigration laws that restricted their entry to the United States. The Immigration Act of 1924, for example, established strict quotas that limited the number of immigrants who could come to the United States from Italy and other countries.

Despite these challenges, my family and most Italian immigrants persevered and made important contributions to American society. They built strong communities, started businesses, and contributed to the cultural, artistic, and culinary heritage of the United States. 

Though it all, Italian immigrants helped provide the labor for American factories and mines and helped build roads, dams, tunnels, and other infrastructure. Their work provided them a small economic foothold in American society and allowed them to provide for their families, which stood and still stands at the core of Italian-American life.