Down These Mean Streets Pt. II

Down These Mean Streets Pt. II


  • Mr. West
    • 1/8 black, Spanish and white
    • Author of a book about what it means to be black in the south
    • Racial Instincts- burden of ones skin
    • Sexuality
      • Race in relation to sexuality
        • Subway and hotel incidents
  • Homoerotic
    • Jail
    • Apartment with transvestites
    • Detox
      • Help of friend Waneko and mother
      • Identity of a junkie
        • Pride was at an all time low- needed a change
        • Pedro Luis
          • Sense of pride, something he was sure of
          • Father added to identity
          • Prison ID Numbers
            • Stripped of most basic form of identification
            • Ironic because that is where he seemed to find himself.


  • Prayer
    • We often see Piri praying when he is about to do something negative
    • He finally prays correctly when he is asking for probation
    • Hussein
      • Chaplain converts, Piri talks to him about the religions and converts to Islam without remorse
      • Upon release, still prays to “God” instead of his “Allah”
      • Malcolm X
        • Relation between the two
        • Identity conflict because most of those who did convert were black

Purity (Trina as symbol)

  • Marriage
    • Piri wants to wait to marry Trina until he is clean and able to take care of her. He wants to provide and play the role of husband because no other girl has made him feel this way
    • Sex
      • Will not have sex until they are married
      • Still objectifies women and cheats on Trina
      • Premonition
        • The night Piri gets shot and goes to jail, Trina asks him not to go, saying that she has a bad feeling about it.
        • Relation to Machismo, when he covers the stealing and law breaking up


  • Identity
    • Puerto Rican Moyeto
    • Put down others
      • Paddy
      • Be put down


Thomas, Piri. Down These Mean Streets. Vintage Books Edition, New York. 1997.

YouTube Clip- Malcolm X Trailer

PowerPoint Presentation:
Down These Mean Streets Pt II

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