Pennoni Panels: Whose History Are We Celebrating?
Thursday, October 8, 2020
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
While Columbus Day had been celebrated in various cities in the United States since 1792, it was President Benjamin Harrison who proposed a national celebration in 1892 and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who institutionalized the holiday in 1937. What began to bolster disenfranchised immigrants during a time of potent anti-immigration sentiment, has been reevaluated in recent decades considering the legacy of Christopher Columbus, Manifest Destiny, and colonization on Indigenous Peoples, Black Americans, and immigrant communities. Many Italian Americans, Italians, and others in this country, however, argue that the holiday has become a celebration of their Italian heritage. This panel will unpack some of the complications of celebrating communities and acknowledging these fraught histories.
Erica L Zelinger