Black Italianità: Citizenship and Belonging in the Black Mediterranean
- Author(s): Smythe, SA
- et al.
This article discusses the fraught relationship between legal citizenship and Black belonging as depicted in the works of two Black Italian women writers. The protagonists in the short story “Salsicce” (“Sausages”) by Igiaba Scego and the novella Kkeywa: Storia di una bimba meticcia by Carla Macoggi resist multiple forms of dispossession and struggle to hold on to the autonomy of their self-identification and cultural attachments. Both Scego and Macoggi affirm the necessity to reclaim the power of self-definition, self-representation, and political agency when reckoning with the citizenship project and its inherent exclusions. Thus, these writings showcase the importance of studying the dynamic body of Black literature in Italian and offer us insight into some of the racialized, gendered, and religious negotiations of Italian sociopolitics for Black people navigating life throughout Italy and the Mediterranean.