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Abstract

This article analyzes the textual elements of Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets that demonstrate, in addition to the continual problematization of closed racial categories, the problems that are associated with static categorizations of ethnicity and nationality. This article calls into question traditional definitions of race, yet it also challenges definitions of Puerto Rican and Nuyorican identities. Race, nationality, and ethnicity are all vital elements to the human experience, and we will discover who is/are responsible for the protagonist Piri’s lack of racial recognition in the United States.

Bio Note

Forrest Blackbourn was awarded a B.A. in 2007 and an M.A. in 2009 from Mississippi State University. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Romance Languages at The University of Alabama with concentrations in Spanish, French, Hispanophone, and Francophone Literatures, U.S. Latino Literature, 20th and 21st Century Studies, the Caribbean Bildungsroman, and Caribbean Diasporas