Stories from El Barrio

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Freedom Voices, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 135 pages

In this collection of short stories, Piri Thomas (author of the bestselling autobiography, Down These Mean Streets) gives readers of all ages a vivid slice of the life in El Barrio--a place where people face their problems with energy, ingenuity and love. He draws vivid stories from his past experiences and makes us feel what it means to be poor and proud and generous; to be streetwise and full of bravado but frightened, too; to struggle to go straight; to be ashamed of being ashamed; to dream. Speaking in the voice of the streets and from his heart, Piri captures the spirit, the laughter and the hope of his people.

"Stories From El Barrio is a crystal clear reflection of the general facet of Piri Thomas's literary power. It is tender, powerfully compassionate, humanely provocative."
Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land

"Piri has kept the secret of our survival close to his heart all these years, and now he gives it back...Poor we were, but deprived? -you've got to be kidding. Ask Piri."
Ossie Davis, playwright, actor, activist

"Piri has written a book we can all share. The power, tenderness, toughness and the caring are all there..."
Nikki Giovanni, author of Racism 101.

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About the author (2006)

Piri Thomas was born in New York City in 1928, the oldest of seven children, and grew up in Spanish Harlem, where he became involved with gangs and drugs. After seven years in prison he returned to his old neighborhood as a youth worker. His first book, Down These Mean Streets, now considered a classic, was followed by Savior Savior Hold My Hand and Seven Long Times. He was the author of a play, The Golden Streets, and numerous articles, many of which have appeared in the New York Times Magazine. He was the subject of three award-winning documentary films, including the PBS documentary Every Child Is Born a Poet. He also produced two CDs of poetry with music, which feature first rate salsa musicians from NY and the San Francisco Bay Area. He died at home in El Cerrito, California on October 17, 2011 at the age of 83.

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