African Women Voices
Of course there are if you consider “black” everyone who basically is not “white”. I’m sure there are black writers in Italy. Few months ago I did read two books by one of them, Amara Lakhous. Although he’s not “black black” as someone might say.
The answer to the question “are there black writers in Italy?” comes naturally to me as curious as I am fascinated by everything and everyone who is different and yet similar to me. But last week I was in a bookshop in one of Rome’s shopping mall (Euroma2), I was there because days before I bought a book by a young researcher recounting her meetings with young Africans who had to cross and arrive to Europe. The idea was intriguing, so was the story. But the writing was emotionless, confused and gosh had grammatical mistakes!
At that moment I remembered what I usually think about buying any kind of stuff: “you have to try it before you buy it!”
I had one week to try it and then I brought the book back to the Airon bookshop and started looking for something else. The idea was to find some African or Black writer from Italy – not that there were many from other countries, but still I wanted to read of an African in Italy. Guess what?
I found nothing.
No black writers writing in Italian, no books of an African in Italy … zero, nada, niente.
The only fascinating story related to Africa I could find was the one written by Doctor Hawa Abdi, which I really really recommend you to read.
So, here is the thing: I know for a fact there are blacks and Africans writing in Italian but I couldn’t find any in the shop. If it’s true that African narrative is doing great in the US, I can’t really say the same of Italy that maintains its backward position. Let’s be clear, there are bookshops that sells books by Africans or about Africa or written by Black people in Italy, but they are usually specialised shops like the Griot in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome.
We definitely need more African writers in Italy. Maybe I should start.