Skip to main content

A Legacy of Achievement: The Italian Americans

A Legacy of Achievement: The Italian Americans explores the significant contributions of the Italian-American population to New Jersey's government, culture, education, economy, agriculture and science. A wealth of Italian-Americans, including a doctor, former mayor, nun, engineer, Port Authority director, judge, artist, physicist and actor Joe Piscopo reminisce about the Italian-American experience. Like many who flee poverty and repression in their homeland to seek opportunity in United States, emigrants from Italy brought a strong sense of family, responsibility and loyalty. But over time, their assimilation into American culture caused certain traditions, including their native language, to lapse. The program profiles Italian heritage initiatives at two New Jersey universities, where third- and fourth-generation Italians are reclaiming their heritage.