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Sports and the Immigrant Experience

The Island Now

In his column for The Island Now, Professor Emeritus of History Michael D’Innocenzo writes about  “Ethnic Advances in American Sports,” focusing on how sports is one of the few areas where innate talent and skill can transcends ethnicity, wealth and zip code. Over the years, this has allowed some from immigrant households a chance to reach legendary status, and Professor D’Innocenzo focuses on some Italian American champions, such as Rocky Marciano, Bruno Sammartino and Charles Atlas (whose real name was Angelo Siciliano). Similarly, for “Italian-Americans Riding the Sports Elevator,” Professor D’Innocenzo notes that at one time sports were seen as the quickest ticket for passage out of the ghettos.

Read other installments of Professor D’Innocenzo’s columns here.

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