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Down These Mean Streets Free Essay, Term Paper and Book Report

Born in 1928, Piri Thomas was a Puerto Rican immigrant who grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York City. After a life of racial discrimination, street fighting, drugs, and a prison sentence for shooting a police officer, Thomas wrote his now-famous account of growing up as an outsider in America, called Down These Mean Streets. Originally published in 1967, a thirtieth-anniversary edition came out in 1997 with a new afterward discussing the worsening conditions on the streets of Spanish Harlem. Thirty years ago Piri Thomas made literary history with this lacerating, lyrical memoir of his coming of age on the streets of Spanish Harlem. Here was the testament of a born outsider: a Puerto Rican in English-speaking America; a dark-skinned morenito in a family that refused to acknowledge its African blood. Here was an unsparing document of Thomas's plunge into the deadly consolations of drugs, street fighting, and armed robbery—a descent that ended when the twenty-two-year-old Piri was sent to prison for shooting a cop. As he recounts the journey that took him from adolescence in El Barr......

Word Count: 282
Page Count: 1.1  (250 words a page / double spaced)

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