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Navigating Black Wrestling Identity: The Curious Case of Angelo Mosca

On July 8th of 1983, Angelo Mosca stood in one corner of Nassau Stadium’s infamously rigid wrestling ring. The meaty shoulders of his 6’4” frame carried the physical weight of the Bahamas Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, along with the much heavier psychological burden of a secret that he’d kept locked inside for several decades. As the mammoth brown-skinned Italian awaited the arrival of his opponent—the very charismatic, very white “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes—from beneath the chicken-wire structure that framed the pathway to the ring, we have to wonder if he appreciated the peculiarity of his situation.

There Mosca stood, in an island nation that was notorious for its support of Black wrestlers and its violent rejection of all who opposed them. In the main event of a wrestling program that kicked off the 10th anniversary of Bahamian independence—an event in which the Bahamians threw off the final lingering shackles of overseas imperial governance—the fans anxiously awaited the sight of Rhodes, the embodiment of American blue-eyed soul, and prayed that he’d climb into the ring and kick the Black guy’s ass.

Until the release of Mosca’s autobiography Tell Me To My Face in September of 2011, most people were unaware that the face they were metaphorically telling it to was—by many definitions—a Black face. In the opening pages of his book, Mosca unveils his secret racial identity with great reluctance, as he had only recently mustered up the courage to finally disclose the secret of his Black ancestry to his own family members after he’d turned 70 years old.

To read the rest of the full article at Splice Today, click here!


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