Italy’s Race Problem: First Black Italian Minister Seeks Cultural Change

Italy's Race Problem

ROME (AP) — Italy’s first Black Cabinet minister, targeted by racist slurs following her appointment last week, said Friday that Italians aren’t racist but that some are merely ignorant of other cultures and the “richness” that immigration can bring.

Congolese-born surgeon Cecile Kyenge held a news conference to introduce herself to Italians so they could get to know her.

“I am not ‘colored.’ I am Black. It’s important to say that. I emphasize it proudly,” she said.

Kyenge’s appointment as integration minister had been hailed as a big step for Italy, which has only recently had to cope with waves of immigration and the resulting problems of integration into a largely homogeneous society.

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