POINT Chapter 15 Meeting - November 6, 2010

POINTers In Person
Lou Costello Chapter 15

Northern New Jersey

Pursuing Our Italian Names Together
November 6, 2010


The Northern New Jersey chapter of POINTers In Person met on November 6, 2010 at the Elmwood Park Municipal Building.  Nineteen people attended.

Maria Carparelli (#2100) opened the meeting by conveying the sad news about the death of  Carolyn McNamara’s (#4772) husband, “Jack”, on October 22.   He was a devoted husband,  father and grandfather as well as a loyal volunteer master docent at the Pascack Historical Society and Museum in Park Ridge, NJ.  Maria mentioned that she, along with Annita Zalenski (#39), and Michele and Al Marotta attended the opening reception and special exhibit,  “From Italy to America: Faces of Italian Immigrants/Italian Americans” at the Oakeside Cultural Center in Bloomfield.  This month-long exhibit was the work of Dr. Sandra Lee, of Seton Hall University, a fellow PIP chapter member.

Annita Zalenski (#39) told the chapter that the Labor Library at the Botto House, the American Labor Museum, in Haledon, NJ  now provides Inter-Library loans from its free lending library.  This was the house where an Italian immigrant silk mill worker lived and where over 20,000 silk mill workers met during the 1913 Paterson Silk Mill Strike.  Also, it was the place where our chapter held its very first exploratory meeting.

Al Marotta (#1018) provided an update.  The Advanced Placement Italian Language and Culture program and exam, which was discontinued due to a lack of interested students and financial losses in 2009, will be reinstated for the Fall of 2011.

Maryanne Graham (#3654) presented the treasurer’s report.  The chapter has 45 active members.

Dr. Cosmo Ferrara, the featured speaker, highlighted some selections from his book, “Profiles of Italian-Americans, Achieving the Dream and Giving Back”.  He wrote the book because he found the portrayal of Italians and Italian-Americans in the entertainment media denigrating and wanted to know where the representations of real Italian-Americans were.       Dr. Ferrara traces this theme back to at least 1931, when the crime film, “Little Caesar” was produced.  His book counters the negative stereotypes that abound.  Most sources that feature Italian-Americans focus on sports heroes and entertainment idols.  Dr. Ferrara’s book showcases 32 brief profiles of Italian-Americans from all spheres of life, including the arts, business, education, law enforcement, the media, medicine, religion, politics, law, etc.  Among the lesser known people featured are Betty Della Corte, founder of the first shelter for victims of domestic violence; Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno and Jerome Bongiorno, husband and wife filmmakers; and Angela Bambace, a labor leader who was the first woman officer of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union.  When asked to select a favorite from his profiles, Dr. Ferrara chose Fiorello H. La Guardia, who was talented in many fields and became mayor of New York City.

Future meetings will be held on:
     February 5, 2011
     May 7, 2011
     August 6, 2011
     November 5, 2011

  For details, see our website: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~njpoint/


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