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La Madonna Nera of New York City

Joey Skee (September 02, 2008)
Italian Americans gather at a gay bar in Manhattan in celebration of the Black Madonna.

Since 2004, Italian Americans (myself included) have gathered informally each September 8th at Manhattan’s Phoenix Bar. This annual celebration recognizes the Sicilian immigrants from Patti (Messina province) who organized Il Comitato Pattese alla Vergine SS. del Tindari in 1905 to honor the Black Madonna in the streets of New York City.  Eight years later, this lay, voluntary association opened a store front chapel and social club at 447 East 13th Street and operated it until 1987.  In 1998, the space was converted into the Phoenix Bar.