Violence and rightwing rhetoric have made this summer a terrifying one for black Italians. The ‘Bel Paese’ must confront its past if it is to change
In 1979 a homeless Somalian by the name of Ahmed Ali Giama was burned alive in the Piazza della Pace, right in the centre of Rome. Killed because he was black and poor. Then there was Giacomo Valent, a 16-year-old who was stabbed 63 times in a frenzied racist attack in 1985. Last week marked 10 years since a young Afro-Italian called Abba was beaten to death by blows from a crowbar because, according to his killer, he hadn’t paid for a packet of biscuits.
Racism in Italy, far from being a novel feature of 2018, is something that goes way back.