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On LatinidadU.S. Latino Literature and the Construction of Ethnicity$
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Marta Caminero-Santangelo

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813030838

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813030838.001.0001

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“Puerto Rican Negro”

“Puerto Rican Negro”

Defining Race in Piri Thomas's Down These Mean Streets

(p.51) 2 “Puerto Rican Negro”
On Latinidad

Marta Caminero-Santangelo

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses the theme of racial denial, which is evident in the novel Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas. The novel was published five years before Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima, and shares the same theme. The protagonist of Piri's novel must also learn the “lessons” of racial identity that are suppressed by his family and its narrated myths of origin, no doubt in a defensive move against racial construction.

Keywords:   racial denial, Down These Mean Streets, Piri Thomas, Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima, racial identity, racial construction, defensive

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