‘The Lung Block’ – Disrupting a Narrative about Italian Immigrants

May 28, 2019 278

BY: Karen Pennar

In 2012, when Stefano Morello was still living in Italy, he started to investigate a family mystery: Whatever happened to his great-grandmother Salvatrice Nigido, who in 1913 had left the town of Militello in Eastern Sicily to join her brother and sister-in-law in New York City, leaving behind her husband and 5-year-old daughter Antonia?

Morello was the only member of his family who spoke English, and he had been coming to NYC while working for an exchange program. Eventually, by combing through vital records in New York’s Municipal Archives, Morello learned that Salvatrice had died in 1920 during the pandemic influenza in NYC, and he later learned that she had worked as a seamstress and become romantically involved with another Italian immigrant.

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SOURCE: https://voicesofny.org

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