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Bronx Italian American History Initiative

Capturing the History of Italian Americans in the Bronx

Family portrait at church st nicholas of tolentine 1952

Family portrait taken in 1952 at St. Nicholas of Tolentine church

Founded in 2016, the Bronx Italian American History Initiative (BIAHI) is a collaborative oral history research project that studies the history of Italians and Italian Americans in the Bronx in the 20th century.

The BIAHI recovers the personal narratives of Italian and Italian American residents of the Bronx, both past and present, through an archive of catalogued video and audio interviews. Our goal is to document and map the cultural centers in which they settled, lived and worked, and how they interacted with other ethnic and racial groups as their own racial privilege shifted.

In collaboration and with support from the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP), we situate our work within a fabric multi-ethnicity and to thus develop a more in-depth knowledge of the relations between neighborhoods in the Bronx that have been home to individuals of African, Irish, Jewish, and Spanish descent.

Our project has been made possible by generous support from the Calandra Italian American Institute, the Bronx African American History Project, individual donors and Fordham’s Office of Research.