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April 15, 2011     Post-Gazette
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April 15, 2011
 

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 15, 2011 Stir00mu00d T00ieUo Nostra Aweeklycolumnhighlightingsome of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. No discussion on the Ital- ian Renaissance would be complete without including one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever produced. Few artists ha,e matched the grandeur of his concep- tions or the power of his creations. To know his life is to know the history of Italy's glory. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti-Simoni, Floren- tine, was born in Caprice, Tuscany, in 1475, at the height of the great Italian Renaissance. Today we know him simply as Michelangelo. Chiefly, he was known as a sculptor, and in this art he created some of the great- est masterpieces that this world has ever known. Addi- tionally, he was a painter, and in this art also he cre- ated some of the greatest masterpieces that this world has ever known. He was called upon to prepare a defense for his beloved city of Florence when it was un- der siege, and in this effort he designed one of the most effective defenses known up to that time. As proof that he MICHELANGELO was every bit as cultured as he was talented, he also wrote poetry which is still being republished today. History credits Michel- angelo with more than fifty great artistic creations. The most famous appear to be the Pieta' of St. Peter's, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Sistine Chapel wall, and the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. The title Pieta', as we know, is given to any repre- sentation in painting or sculpture of the Virgin. Mother grieving over the body of Jesus after the Cru- cifixion. Michelangelo's Pieta' will be discussed in more detail in the next is- sue of this column. In 1508 Pope Julius II or- dered Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This is .the work where much of it was done while lying on his back. Here, he chose to present a condensed version of events recorded in the Book of Genesis. He painted 343 co- lossal figures on 10,000 square feet of ceiling, and at the age of thirty-three, after four years of agonizing labor, created the most powerful piece of painting in the world. Twenty-four years later he returned to paint the titanic "Last Judgement" on the altar wall of the same chapel. This work shows sinners being condemned to Hell by Christ's furious judgement. It is one of the largest frescoe paintings ever executed, and the most comprehensive in the world. Michelangelo was 72 years old when commanded by Pope Julius Ill to take over the position of Architect for the Basilica of St. Peter, then under construction. He was the eighth of about four- teen men who served in this capacity. Here, he served without compensation "For the love of God only." The design and construction of the central dome is attrib- uted to him and once again he produced one of the great- est masterpieces of art. NEXT ISSUE: The Pieta' of St. Peter's (Note: Claudius Patrongage to run in the April 29  edition) Res Publica by David Trumbull What the New Census Numbers Mean for Your Neighborhood What do the 2010 United States Decennial Census returns mean for Post-Gazette readers? By Post-Gazette readers I mean readers in Boston's North End, where the Italian-American Voice of Massachusetts is published, or in East Boston, where the paper maintains a satellite office. Of course, the Post-Gazette has a much wider readership throughout Boston and the Commonwealth, but I look at the two Boston neighborhoods that have historically had large Italian-American populations. ' East Boston is Ward One and contains 14 precincts. Although "Eastie" is still sometimes thought of as an Italian neighborhood, the fact is that already by the time of the 2000 census 10 of the 14 precincts were either majority or substantially Hispanic, leaving four precincts, 11 through 14, which make up the Orient Heights neigh- borhood as majority White, which in this case means largely Italian-American. In 2000 East Boston, overall, was 50% White and 39% Hispanic, with Asians being 4% and Blacks 3%. By 2010 the overall numbers for Eastie had shifted to 53% Hispanic, 37% White, and the Asian and Black percentages stayed the same. All numbers thus far have been for total popula- tion. The census returns are further broken down by race for population aged 18 years and over, and those data tell an even more dramatic story of the changed complexion of East Boston. The White adult population in 2000 was 54% of the total and in 2010 dropped to 41%. The Hispanic adult population in 2000 was 36% and by 2010 rose to 49%. Or, in census enumeration, there were 19,078 Whites in East BostorL in 2000 and 15,051 in 2010, with 13,018 being adults, leaving 2,033 White children in 2010. The Hispanic population in 2000 was 14,990 and 21,419 in 2010, with 15,380 being adults, leaving 6,039 Hispanic children in 2010. In other words, not only did the Hispanic population grow by 43% from 2000 to 2010 while the White population declined by 21%, the Hispanic population is younger, with nearly three times as many Hispanic as White children in East Boston. In summary, East Boston continues a long tradition of (Continued on Page 12) Italia Rai  Italia