Update: April 20,2008
Got an important email from Capicu Poetry today regarding Piri Thomas which I am going to publish here so as to pass on the information. here it is:
As many of you may already know, Author Piri Thomas recently suffered a stroke and is currently doing well in recovery. We had an opportunity just before this happened to have him as a guest of the Capicu Poetry show so that we could pay tribute to him via performances by many people he inspired. At the end of the night, he blessed us with his words and made the night unforgettable.
Now we have an opportunity to inspire him and lift his spirits with our words. Over the past few weeks we have received many emails and phone calls to our Capicu Community Hot line of people wishing Piri well. We are going to make this available to Piri in CD format.
We are going to host a tribute to Piri Thomas on Radio Capicu this Wednesday April 23rd. We will be sharing some of Piri’s work, reflecting on his legacy and taking your calls so that your words can help him in the healing process.
The show will run 2 hours and all calls taken will be live.
This will be the last opportunity to be included in this “audio” get well card. We want to make sure he gets it before his 80th Birthday.
To Tune in to the show…
Log in to Radio Capicu by visiting www.BlogTalkRadio.com/RadioCapicu
Again the details for calling in to the show are….
Date: Wednesday April 23rd, 2008
Time: 9:00 PM – 11:00pm (eastern standard time)
Call-in Number: (646) 716-7745
Show description: Hosted by The Urban Jibaro & The Guy, this show will be dedicated to Nuyorican legend Piri Thomas, author of “Down These Mean Streets”. We will revisit his legacy, listen to his words and share stories of inspiration in the hope that our listeners and his fans can lift his spirits as he recovers from a stroke.
If his words ever touched you…spend this time sharing your voice with him.
Special guest hosts: Papo Swiggity & Latyn Jazz
Website:www.CapicuPoetry.com ; myspace.com/capicupoetry
Phone:(208) 723-5966 (Community Hotline)
City/Town: Brooklyn, NY
Poems Y Poemas A Night of Latin Verse
Puerto Rican poet and writer, Piri Thomas, best known for his depiction of barrio survival in Down These Mean Streets, suffered a stroke.
The 79 year old author is recovering in his now home of California.
Capicu Poetry is compiling email and audio messages to send to the poet, to serve as a source of strength for Piri, since he has been a source of strength to countless Latinos (and others).
If you want to send Piri Thomas a get well message please email CapicuPoetry@gmail.com or call their community hotline (208) 723-5966.
Down These Mean Streets is the autobiography of Piri Thomas, a Latino of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent who grew up in El Barrio (aka Spanish Harlem), a section of Harlem that has a large Puerto Rican population. In the book, we watch Piri as he goes through the first few decades of his life, lives in poverty, joins and fights with street gangs, faces racism (in both New York and the South), suffers through heroin addiction, gets involved in crime, and ends up in prison.
Down These Mean Streets reads similarly to The Autobiography of Malcolm X in that both books are vivid, brutally honest memoirs of experiences of racial prejudice and discrimination, identity formation, and youthful involvement with crime that leads to life-altering prison experiences. One of the major themes of Down These Mean Streets centers on Piri Thomas’s identity as a dark-complected Afro-Latino. Although he is of Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage, the larger American society takes him for African-American and fails to recognize him as Latino. His own family rejects the African aspect of their Latin-Caribbean ancestry, causing Piri to spend much of his adolescent and early adult life contemplating his racial and ethnic identity.
Down These Mean Streets has either been banned or has risked banning attempts in Salinas, CA; Teaneck, NJ; Darien, CT; District 25 in Queens, NYC, NY; and in Long Island, NY.
The book was originally published in 1967, and later republished in a special Thirtieth Anniversary Edition in 1997, with a new afterword from the author. A sequel was made, called 7 Long Times, which gives more depth to his prison years.
Free Essays http://www.freeessays.cc/db/10/bah266.shtml