Charles L. Leavitt IV deposited Impegno nero: gli intellettuali italiani e la lotta afroamericana in the group LLC 20th- and 21st-Century Italian on MLA Commons 1 year, 2 months ago
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Italian intellectuals participated in Italy’s reconstruction with an ideological commitment inspired by the African-American struggle for equal rights in the United States. Drawing on the work of authors including Italo Calvino, Giorgio Caproni, Cesare Pavese, and Elio Vittorini, this essay argues that postwar Italian intellectual impegno – defined as the effort to remake Italian culture and to guide Italian social reform – was united with a significant investment in the African-American cause. The author terms this tendency impegno nero and traces its development in the critical reception of African-American writers including W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. Impegno nero revived and revised the celebrated “myth of America” that had developed in Italy between the world wars. Advancing a new, postwar myth, Italian intellectuals adopted the African-American struggle in order to reinforce their own efforts in the ongoing struggle for justice in Italy.