I would like to know the proportions of Calabrese and Sicilians immigrants in Bedord-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York in 1915. St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church on Kent Avenue was named in honor of St. Lucy, a patron saint of the Sicilians yet, to my knowledge, most of the Italians in these Brooklyn neighborhoods during the 1950's and 1960's were of Calabrese (my paternal side: Manago and Polimeni) descent or from Bari, Italy (my maternal side: Zero or Zello). In general, I have found that the Calabrese and Sicilian immigrants were culturally distinct; the Calabrese self-identity was "Italian" or Calabrese, but the Sicilian self-identity was "Sicilian." Despite St. Lucy's Sicilian roots, the Calabrese of Bed-Stuy practically worshipped St. Lucy and would only attend St. Lucy's Church, 2 blocks from St. Patrick's Church. (Well, Italian-Americans were ostracized by the dominant Irish clergy at St. Patrick's Church, for close to 100 years up until the 1950's). The Calabrese departed from the port of Naples, although, again to my knowledge, there were few Neapolitans in Bed-Stuy and Fort Greene; the closest Neapolitan majority was in East Williamsburg (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church, and the Calabrese and Sicilians were culturally segregated from the Neapolitans, although there was some intermarriage. Any information on these regional Italian peoples, their dominant population centers in New York City, their conflicts and cohesion, etc. would be appreciated. This all seems to me like a rendition of Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet?
perhaps if you google your interest in the sociology of Italian immigrants and Italian americans in the geographical areas you indicate you may be able to research the subject matter in depth. We are here to assist you with genealogy questions you may have concerning the subject matter. =Peter=
Hi: In response to your inquiry, Nathan Glazer and D.P. Moynahan wrote a book in the late 60's called Beyond the Melting Pot about the 5 major ethnic groups in NYC. Of course, the Italians were a big part of the book.
My copy from college days is in a box in the garage, but I am sure the public library would have a copy. There are many references at the end of each chapter and I am sure would provide some insights if you have the time to dig. Also, the sociology departments of CUNY, Brooklyn College, and especially Hunter would probably be able to give you some guidance as to where to look. It may be a shot in the dark, but it is worth trying.
What a great post! I was born in Bed Stuy in 1964. My Father was Irish (St. pat's). My Mom is Calabrse - married in St. Lucy's, where I was baptized - and Napolitano (we still go to OLM Carmel Feast every Summer and my grandparents had their funeral there). My grandfather's family was from Rossano, Calabria and grew up in Fort Greene. When mom was born, the entire Calabrse side was living on Walworth Street in Bed-Stuy. My grandmother moved there as well, and joined St. Lucy's Church, but being napolitiano, went several times a year to OLMC.
.....I have found that the Calabrese and Sicilian immigrants were culturally distinct; the Calabrese self-identity was "Italian" or Calabrese, but the Sicilian self-identity was "Sicilian."......
Growing up in Wilmington, DE I also noticed the distinction especially because the Italians (Abruzzese, Calabrese, Barese, Napolitani) lived on one side of the city and the Siciliani lived on the other side of the city with the Greeks.