Gypsy American (Romani) History, Life & Values
“Gypsy Americans” are those who self-identify both as “Gypsies” & as “Americans,” perhaps 100,000 people distributed throughout the 50 states. The term “Gypsy” is thought by some to be derogatory; & as such it is avoided by some Gypsy Americans & others in deference to "Roma" or "Romany." This website employs "Gypsy" to refer to the various traveller peoples settled in the New World, & "Roma" to refer to the various Gypsy communities of Europe. Gypsy Americans today are a proud people who live rich, nuanced, widely varied & productive lifestyles, engaged with non-Gypsies in economic relationships that on close inspection reveal a complex symbiosis well-saturated in shades of local color. While maintaining separate identities to varying degrees, Gypsy Americans express a specific amalgamated identity & a shared sense of unity.
Cross-Cultural Medicine: A Decade Later. Anne Sutherland, Western Journal of Medicine (9/92).
On the Web: Specialized Sites
Gypsy Ministry (interview with Gypsy American Lutheran pastor Larry Merino, links to audiotapes)
"Gypsies" in the US (Smithsonian Institution).
Patrin (Romany culture & history).
Pinky's Window on Changing Gypsy American Everyday Life & Values. Guest book, with ongoing conversations between Gypsy American youths, will shatter preconceptions
Romani Archives & Documentation Center (U. of Texas).
Travellers' Rest. Irish Travellers in the US.
Bercovici, Konrad. "The American Gypsy" Century Magazine 1103, 4 (1922): 507-519.
Brown, Irving. 1929. "Gypsies, American," in Encyclopedia Brittanica (14th ed.; London, 1929), vol. 11,p. 42.
Hancock, Ian. "Gypsies in Texas," Roma (Chandigarh) 1,1 (1974):36-47.
__________. "Gypsies," in S. Thernstrom (ed.) Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (Cambridge MA: Harvard, 1979), p. 440-445.
__________. "Gypsies" & "Travelers" in C.R. Wilson & W. Ferris (eds.) Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. (Chapel Hill: U. of North Carolina, 1989), p. 432 & 33.
Miller, Carol J. "American Rom & the ideology of defilement," in F. Rehfisch (ed.) Gypsies, Tinkers & Other Travellers (NY: Academic. 1975), pp. 41-54.
Salloway, J. "Medical care utilization among urban Gypsies," Urban Anthropology 2,1 (1973):113-126.
Salo, Matt. "The Gypsy niche in North America: Some perspectives on the exploitation of social Environments," in Aparna Rao (ed.) The Other Nomads: Peripatetics in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Koln: Bohlau, 1987), pp. 89-109.
Sutherland, A. "The body as a social symbol among the Rom," in J. Blacking (ed.) The Anthropology of the Body (NY: Academic, 1977).
Thomas, James D. 1985. "Gypsies & American medical care," Annals of Internal Medicine 102 (1985):842-845.
In the Library: Non-Fiction Books
Brown, Irving. Gypsy Fires in America (NY: Harper, 1924).
Denham, Diana. Gypsies in Social Space (Palo Alto: Ragusan, 1981). Seattle.
Gropper, Rena C. Gypsies in the City: Culture Patterns & Survival (Princeton NJ: Darwin, 1975).
Hancock, Ian. We Are the Romani People (Hatfield: U. of Hertfordshire, 2002). Invaluable modern introduction to history & culture.
Kenrick, Donald. Historical Dictionary of the Gypsies (Romanies) (Lanham MD: Scarecrow, 1998).
Lockwood, William O. & Sheila Salo. Gypsies & Travellers in North America: An Annotated Bibliography (Cheverly MD: Gypsy Lore Society, 1994).
Maas, Peter. King of the Gypsies (NY: Viking, 1975). Purveys stereotypes.
Mayall, David. Gypsy Identities (London: Routledge, 2004).
McLaughlin, John B. Gypsy Lifestyles (Lexington MA: Lexington, 1980). Purveys stereotypes.
Nemeth, David. The Gypsy-American (Lewiston NY: Edward Mellen, 2002). Los Angeles, Kansas City & Ohio.
Salo, Matt. The American Kalderas: Gypsies in the New World (Hackettstown NJ: Gypsy Lore Society, 1981).
Sutherland, Anne. Gypsies: The Hidden Americans (NY: Free Press, 1975).
Sway, Marlene. Familiar Strangers: Gypsy Life in America (Urbana: U. Illinois, 1988).
Tong, Diana (ed.) Gypsies: An Interdisciplinary Reader (NY, 1998). Purveys some stereotypes.
Turner-Stastny, Gabrielle. The Gypsy in Northwest America (Olympia: Washington State Bicentennial Commission, 1977).
Weyrauch, Walter (ed.) Gypsy Law: Romani Legal Traditions & Culture (Berkeley: U. of California, 2001).
Wilson, Robert C. Gypsies (NY: Bantam, 1989). Purveys stereotypes
In the Library: Fiction
Brown, Irving. Romany Road (NY: Harrison Smith/Robert Haas, 1932).
Lee, Ronald. Goddam Gypsy: An Autobiographical Novel (Montreal: Tundra, 1971).
Nickels, George. The Gypsy Season (Port Washington NY: Ashley, 1982). Memoir of family exploits in Chicago & elsewhere.
Putnam, Vii. Hard Hearts are for Cabbages (NY: Crown, 1959).
Williamson, Thames. Gypsy Down the Lane (Boston: Small, Maynard, 1926).
In the Library: For Young Readers
Acton, Thomas. Gypsies (London: MacDonald Phoebus, 1981).
Nelson, Audrey. The Day the Gypsies Came to Town (Milwaukee WI, 1983).
In the Library: Poetry
In the Library: Drama
In the Library: Photography
"Alex & the Gypsy" , dir. John Korty, 100m. In video stores. Purveys derogatory image.
"American Gypsy: A Stranger in Everybody's Land" , dir. Jasmine Dellal, 80m. From Little Dust Productions.
"Angelo My Love" , dir. Robert Duval, 113m. In video stores.
"Gypsies: the Other Americans" , dir. Eric Metzgar & Penelope Willens. From Triton Films. Documentary on Gypsy Americans in Los Angeles.
"King of the Gypsies" , dir. Frank Pierson, 112m. In video stores. Set in New York, purveys derogatory image.
"Traveller" , dir. Jack Green, 101m. Irish Travellers in US.