Personal Projects: Point of Entry: Alfredo Nicola Massa

“I was born in Calascibetta, Sicily, in 1950. At a young age, I lost my mother and father. I was 3 when my mom passed and 8 when my father passed, and I was very fortunate to be adopted by an Italian couple. My new mother [was] born in Little Italy and my father was actually born in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Coming over at the age of 10, in 1960, my prime focus was how I needed and wanted to learn the English language. And I would not answer or respond- although by then, my father was speaking English and he could speak Italian, having been born there- but my mother was born in Little Italy, Baltimore, and her Italian was very weak. So I insisted that they speak to me in English because I wanted to learn the language. I only knew three words when I got off the plane in New York: ‘hello,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘goodbye.’ And my brother taught me those when he put me on the plane in Rome to send me to the United States.”Alfredo Nicola MassaImmigrated to Baltimore from Calascibetta, Sicily in 1960 Interview by Ashley Minner, 6/29/17Baltimore, Maryland
Alfredo Nicola Massa

“I was born in Calascibetta, Sicily, in 1950. At a young age, I lost my mother and father. I was 3 when my mom passed and 8 when my father passed, and I was very fortunate to be adopted by an Italian couple. My new mother [was] born in Little Italy and my father was actually born in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Coming over at the age of 10, in 1960, my prime focus was how I needed and wanted to learn the English language. And I would not answer or respond- although by then, my father was speaking English and he could speak Italian, having been born there- but my mother was born in Little Italy, Baltimore, and her Italian was very weak. So I insisted that they speak to me in English because I wanted to learn the language. I only knew three words when I got off the plane in New York: ‘hello,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘goodbye.’ And my brother taught me those when he put me on the plane in Rome to send me to the United States.” 

 

Alfredo Nicola Massa 

Immigrated to Baltimore from Calascibetta, Sicily in 1960 

 

Interview by Ashley Minner, 6/29/17 

Baltimore, Maryland