In Catina’s Haircut: A Novel in Stories, (University of Wisconsin Press), Paola Corso links four generations of a southern Italian peasant family in Italy and America. The women’s stories begin in a Calabrian hill town and reveal the post-unification poverty that forced many Italians to emigrate.
Although secular opportunities motivated many, your ancestors could have migrated West for religious reasons. S. Scott Rohrer examines two religious migrations in Wandering Souls: Protestant Migrations in America, 1630-1865 (University of North Carolina Press). Most common were groups seeking religious and social fulfillment; others wanted to escape persecution.
Her light skin and upbringing in Chicago’s elite black bourgeoisie led Carolyn Wilkins to write Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success (University of Missouri Press). When an aunt leaves scrapbooks of family history, Wilkins begins the quest for her ancestry and racial identity. Along the way, she tackles issues of class and color in the African-American community.
From the May 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine
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