Segments in this Video

Introduction: World of Piri Thomas (04:17)


Writer Piri Thomas talks about his complex life and experiences in Spanish Harlem, while reading excerpts from his memoir "Down These Mean Streets."

Spanish Harlem (07:02)

Thomas reads his poetry about Spanish Harlem and how it relates to the rest of New York City. He describes poverty and the experience of Spanish Harlem parents.

Running Away (05:01)

Thomas talks about children running away because of the poverty and tiredness of living in Spanish Harlem. He talks about his own experience running away from home.

God's Place (06:50)

Thomas reads poetry about his questioning of God and the importance of faith in Spanish Harlem. He talks about his searching and need for escape. It led him to violence and eventually prison.

Segregation (08:00)

Thomas talks about the contradictions of faith. He reads his poetry about segregated neighborhoods and racism.

Drugs (09:30)

Thomas talks about seeing drug addicts growing up and thinking how he would never be one. But, one day he tried drugs and got addicted. He shares his experience trying to quit.

Dreams (06:36)

Thomas talks about his dreams for his children and all children to make it and follow their dreams through love and sharing. He reads an excerpt from his play.

Tenement Housing (08:56)

Thomas reads something he wrote about growing up in tenement housing. Children from Spanish Harlem share stories about their homes and parents.

Credits: The World of Piri Thomas (02:42)

Credits: The World of Piri Thomas

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World of Piri Thomas

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This program gives an unflinching view of the “mean streets” of El Barrio, a section of New York City otherwise known as Spanish Harlem. Piri Thomas, one of its most noted inhabitants, shares his experiences and dramatically reads from his book, Down These Mean Streets.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL145181

Copyright date: ©1968

Closed Captioned

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