This concluding chapter peers into the succeeding decades and speculates on how and why second- and third-generation Italian Americans became firmly entrenched as pan-ethnic, white Americans. For Italian immigrants and their descendants, the twentieth century proved transformative in many ways. Affected by major external events such as fascism in Italy, World War II, and civil rights movements, as well as internal desires to “be American,” a crucial aspect of their adaptation would be racial in nature. From victims of lynching to perpetrators of racial violence, the journey of Italian Americans uniquely embodies the tremendous costs of an assimilation process that inculcates the values of white over black.
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