Frank Capra Oversimplified the Italian-American Story

In His Life and Career, the Sicilian-Born Director Absorbed His Adopted Country’s Ambivalence Toward Italians

Frank Capra, the director of It’s a Wonderful Life, called the film his favorite, and even screened it for his own family every holiday season. The movie hit close to home in another way: Capra was attempting to represent the story of Italian-Americans like himself, who had a complicated path toward assimilation during the first half of the twentieth century.

Francesco Capra was born in 1897 in Bisaquino, near Palermo, Sicily, the youngest of seven children. (“Capra” means goat in Italian; the town’s name is derived from the Arabic “rich in …

Want to Protect Immigrants? Help Integrate Them into Our City.

Local Jobs, Language Skills, and a Path to Citizenship Are the Best Defense Against Anti-Immigrant Fervor

Is it any wonder that immigrant Los Angeles finds itself in the eye of Tropical Storm Don?

President Trump has stormed in with talk of Muslim travel bans, plans to build …

Yes, I’m Muslim—and German

Europe's Largest Nation Integrates Immigrants With High Ideals and Everyday Discrimination

Wars across Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan have sent millions of refugees fleeing to Europe in recent years, the majority of them Muslims. How to integrate these refugees into liberal (but …

Europe Has a Problem With Immigrants, Not With Islam

Reforming Schools and Labor Laws Would Help a Lot More Than Fixating on Religion

In Germany last month, the debate over Europe’s growing Muslim population reached a fever pitch. More than 100 robberies and sexual assaults were reported in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, …

When Two ‘Little Rascals’ Crossed the Color Line

The Friendship Between These Young Hollywood Actors—One Black, One White—Was Ahead of Its Time, but Also an Illusion

When I was a kid, I used to watch episodes of The Little Rascals on TV in our living room in Los Angeles. My parents were Korean immigrants who had …