Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


The Interviewee:

Rosanna Mastrangelo was born in February 1964, in South Philadelphia. Her parents, along with the rest of her family, were Italian immigrants who had come to America after the end of World War II in hopes of rebuilding a better life for themselves. Raised in a tight-knit Italian neighborhood and surrounded by Old World traditions, Rosanna quickly realized the importance of remaining close to one’s roots, especially in forming her unique sense of identity. But as she went to school and became acquainted with people of other backgrounds and experiences, it became ever more clear that her sense of identity was divided. By the language she spoke, the type of education she received, and the abundant opportunities which presented themselves to her-Rosanna came to perceive a grave difference between herself and her parents. She was not just Italian, she was an Italian-American. And her home and her heart belonged forever in America. Her life story, which is recounted in this interview, proffers excellent insight into the process of assimilation among first-generation immigrants. Her story is also full of interesting facts about mafia history, and even allows for some insight into the problems and concerns of those weathering midlife.

Today, Rosanna still resides in a predominantly Italian neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Her home, which she shares with her mother and daughter, is still devoted to keeping the Italian culture alive. She has also spent nearly 40 years of her life serving the United States Federal Government as an auditor at the Defense Logistics Agency, and she couldn’t be more proud to be an American, to support the war fighter and the American way of life. Surely, the sacrifices her family made in order to achieve a better life were not in vain.

Formal Interview Transcript.docx (549 kB)
Transcription of entire interview

FormalInterviewP1.m4a (119868 kB)
Session 1 of the Interview. 1 hour audio.

Formal Interview Session2, Part I.m4a (75361 kB)
Session 2, Part I. 36 minutes.

Formal Interview Session 2, Part II.m4a (45053 kB)
Session 2, Part II. 22 minutes.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."