Being Italian: The Peculiar Journey of Blackness

Type of Work




Journal Title

Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography

Journal ISSN





Generations of African and Black Italians are extending the boundaries of what it means to be Italian, in the face of denial, diversion, and an insistence on whiteness as the measure of inclusion, and humanity. Drawing on Allan Pred’s work on racist geographies of the everyday and taken-for-granted in Sweden, I advance the concepts of B/black spaces and relational places to approach to the study of identity, belonging, and place in Black Europe, with a focus on Italy. Black and African Italians from diverse origins and generations are asserting their belonging in Italy. Pred’s work on every day situated practices, power relations, taken-for-granted knowledge, and silences, is useful to contemporary scholarship in Black geographies, antiracist and decolonial scholarship. Pred’s holistic studies of modernity and the impacts of global political and economic transformations in lived experiences demonstrate the centrality of racism to national societies and cultures. His work is valuable to scholars of modern Western colonial systems of knowledge production and power, advancing insights and encouraging new directions based on abundant, ordinary yet silenced everyday realities and experiences. This paper expands on Pred’s work through an analysis of Blackness, place and belonging in Italy, offering an approach to the study of African Diaspora in Europe.

Hamilton Areas of Study

Africana Studies