El Barrio Within New York City: Piri Thomas “Down Those Mean Streets”

"El Barrio Within New York City"" presents an emotional structure, reflecting Piri Thomas's inner struggle and passions, his flows of feelings and energy, his spiritual highs and lows, but also the deep restlessness of a young man in search of his identity. The essay tries to consider the entire range of Piri Thomas's experiences, where questions on the deepest issues of life are constatly dealt with, until the final answer, that is the acceptance of his in-between status: no matter where he goes, his heart is always with El Barrio, and part of El Barrio will always be in him. Piri Thomas's autobiography "Down These Mean Streets" is the journey of a soul from captivity in the mean streets of East Harlem to the final freedom, not only physical, but of self-acceptance, of faith and inner confidence. "El Barrio Within New York City" has been originally written in 2002 but only recently revised.