When a 20-year-old PR from London asked Afro-Italian journalist and photograper Balobeshayi whether there are Black people in Italy, she wrote on her blog, "I killed the first shocked and almost offended reaction I was going to serve her and answered with a rather surprised “Yes.” The girl, who was trying to get me and my friends a deal for a club in Piccadilly Circus, was as stunned as I was. And she explained she was afraid to go to Italy because she thought she would have been the only Black person there.
I am Black. And I am from Italy.
Ergo, there are Black people in Italy.
But don’t get me wrong, the country doesn’t exactly explode with citizens from Sub-Saharan Africa or the Caribbean islands. There are 3.8 million foreigners in Italy and among them only 870.000 are from Africa.
In this already restricted group as large as the Liverpool population, 7 out of 10 Africans come from North Africa, mainly Morocco. Other big groups are formed by residents from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana, says a report from the NGO Caritas Italy.
But are there any Black Italians?
I could use the example of my experience again, but it would get old. So I will just say that there are Black Italians. Some of them obtained the Italian citizenship after moving from another country.
Others, were born on the Italian soil and gained the right to the citizenship. This is the so-called “second generation” of migrants.
Below are some graphs taken from the Italian Institute of National Statistics (ISTAT), about the number of African registered residents in Italy in 2010 divided by gender."
Read the full story at Are There Black People In Italy?
Balobeshayi is also the maker of the documentary (in)visible cities, a long-term documentary on African migrants in 12 cities of the world.