“Because he became a writer, many of us became writers. Before ‘Down These Mean Streets,’ we could not find a book by a Puerto Rican writer in the English language about the experience of that community, in that voice, with that tone and subject matter.” - via NYTimes.
I would not be who I am today, this blog would not exist - had this book not been read or written.
The street's got kicks man, like a bargain shelf, In fact, cool-breeze, it's got love just like anyplace else.It's got high-powered salesmen who push mucho junk, And hustlers who can swallow you up in a chunk.It's got sewers that swallow all the street pours down its throat It's got hope wearing an old over-coat.It's got lights that shine up the dark and make the scene like new It sells what you don't need And never lets you forget what you blew.It's got our beautiful children living in all kinds of hell hoping to survive and making it well Swinging together in misty darkness With much love to share Smiling a Christ-like forgiveness, That only a ghetto cross can bear.The streets got life, man, like a young tender sun, and gentleness like long awaited dreams to come.For children are roses with nary a thorn, forced to feel the racist's scorn, Our children are beauty with the right to be born.Born anew at each a.m. Like a child out of twilight, flying toward sunlight, Born anew at each a.m.
A native New Yorker born to Puerto Rican & Sicilian parents in Spanish Harlem's El Barrio, Literanista is a Social Media Strategist, a published poet/writer, has worked at Hachette Book Group, Aol, Thomson Reuters and scouts the web for multicultural literary news, tech trends, innovation, working on her debut novel & about a million other things.
* All content on Literanista is strictly based on my sole personal opinion & beliefs & not those of my employer. I sometimes receive advance release copies of books, media, and products for promotion purposes.