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Puerto Rico Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Puerto Ricans and black Americans

In his memoir “Down These Mean Streets”, Piri Thomas searches for belonging in the racially stratified American nation of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Thomas explores how his race as well as his physical appearance compels him to seek identification with black Americans. Throughout the narrative Piri struggles with his father’s privileging of whiteness and rejection of their visible black racial heritage. Piri questions his father’s abandonment, as he sees it, of their racial identity and of Piri as he attempts to navigate the United States process of assimilation. While Piri struggles with his rejection by larger society as a Puerto Rican, he is conscious that he has another avenue open to him, identification as a black American, and despite his…