In my view, I was qualified for the above fellowship and was excited to apply.
The question as to whether I was from a distinct ethnic group (underrepresented in academic circles) was not an issue in my mind (the last I checked most prestigious universities had faculties brimming with waspy sounding last names and not surnames ending in vowels).
The fellowship had strict academic and social-economic requirements.
On the socio-economic side, students were expected to be first generation college students, fall on the lower end of the income scale, and come from an ethic group that were/are underrepresented at US graduate programs.
Not because I had been denied, but rather because I had been denied for not being from an appropriate “ethnic group”; at least the groups that were currently in fashion as being minorities in the US and in turn at Academic institutions.
Has the Italian-American remained truly unique with strong ties to what it means to live like an Italian in a foreign country?
Those who engage in Native American dance often disguise themselves with masks. Typical dance maneuvers include a lot of movement in the arms and upper body.
The Indians that reside in the United States are primarily located throughout the Plain states, parts of northern United States, and parts of the South.
The answers that came back were disheartening and I felt betrayed.
The incident made me think long and hard about what it means to be an Italian-American living in the United States today.
Of course, Native American dance is not set aside for special occasions only.