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in a day public television you learn early times of the year look twenty thirty they will i am nine matches the pv comments the high anything less polluting it doesn't remind me that you know bright sunlight three was partly the truth of god's word the streets gaza has been
covered by prominent families fleeing the very basis i was being bought these purely or reagan poses was region it was an ex con and the painter i'm an extra garlic and the next gang leader i am a writer i am a human being and it is
widely acclaimed book down these mean streets gary thomas told the story of that multifaceted life i speak for my positive belief and i would tell you to manage and ask me for my condition and there was a new building and create jobs we wanted to be my girl it's both fb
probably almost nine hundred thousand puerto ricans in the united states more than six hundred thousand live in new york city and the ghetto called el diario spanish harlem this film is an adaptation of one than survival in and
triumph over that echo the words for parts the experiences we lived on his the peaks and the valleys that made up the world of period homeless the peak but i'm standing here remain the city's fuel supply that he is he is this street cops speak sets all kinds of races of people and pacs apostles rackets
john natural world goes beyond those who is and that was that are you going to do to your world and my sense of violence it's gonna be on your larkins if you dont climb down from different the floor mats and come play with me living here on the ground level let me take a run at you have you have the punch that i'm out what a goddess can handle and he was a clip from jim the permits tell me you'll make out and darkened hallways would work this as farm hands the tools smaller effect until
egyptians thousand mile from i hope that you will fill your dreams that magic that what you wanted to beat them cursed the kitchen bombings foot dragging back on the scene to ever worry about any level mccarthy we have not known the cheaper than double double fastest way to make you less than honestly cause and look the other way at the jewelry gold you know like buddy rich i mean the two of us then slowed quite like your mom's and pop fight for lack of money to push off the michael wants to another company that rolled under the streets what about the backyards or their
glory where roberts from trying to juggle feel the thunder of being thrown off a lack of money to pay the rent lockers get darker as the like bills don't believe will cook and can eat for a bunch of hungry kids no use no gas companies picture of a lecture hall sold be time to never ending resentments hello ma'am like nothing happened nothing to gain this
they did but their real mother like every other mother brings a child and my brother you wanted to kids three four five six seven eight nine ten sometimes fourteen sometimes sometimes mosul and the as bob dylan this is a children's book some
courtesy of mother who's only thirteen or not beaten down by poverty and a sense of frustration sometimes a sea of father would i give his children but he would like to get them when i take them out another patient remembering home and misery and stand there the feet it within himself fitting himself emasculated frustrated hearing the sounds and his children asking him for the impossible mission's own people to the circus and see the clowns
you're gorgeous but they want some kind of freedom while men from their own land more from their early the colony from just being one of maybe
ten kids the necessity poverty tied or sharing two bottles of milk the ten kids dying and the sheer called patty's many the real hungry sure we're done it's just that it is pretty funny of the ten twelve thirteen okay get there you know when i was a kid or man named streets of harlem a can and a real sense of pride and so i went to him that everything that it may owe noise in wrestling and only the romney must recall passing day will the shy forging of a ted
talk that the quietness europe especially to twelve new kittens ability to make politics got him with infamous pop it watch the moon shadows and street i listened to the crazy noises fire engines screaming downsides carol bartz candid not get i couldn't walk in ms
janice is as men who run away and run run run run and you feel like you're just
first you know you can speak in waiting which insurers health care normally they say c diff
don't get a balloon law tend to open up and let the sun come then tensions there is poverty is touring tenement halls is we can paint the smallest fire thousand years old change of costumes know most regime is they are the tribe wasn't alone the ground no more than our young adults not to lose heart no hope for a future
i made it this is america you're right and he is now it's b it is
b with it the pay is it
is today we say forcing migraines as i wrote them you know i wanted to escape that blasting over the breaking up of the force of gravity now most people who need a dispute about forty five caliber of the song as jules like that particular you'll sign it was my hands has a broken it was really what was on you know a gun battle i think there is the
area between the road i am a christian and other than an origins story for his sort of a pasture and o nd well we're oh oh he's a no all shack uh huh oh oh
oh oh fifteen years ago many of america's many wales verses me baby i guess i'm not dyed because i did i wish to die and nor my god if you to me if my life
changed this has been helping my people of all of these mean streets up in tucson night open to fresh clean air if i do i'll die the play is unique crime
many many many many many years ms nina pike is unique needs ha ha ha he's routinely an illegal
you presented this country was he's a genius churches of christ he says are many are these are mr benjamin yes mccain is
seeking for me you run away you want to go to join together stephen gillers says you want it was always just soldiers wood died of you that regard to parents were tied about human being brought by a mother and father
that leaves his mark on earth a better chance a mountainous offering a dirge that is by formula by all the ball is nile pine for newcomers to play it is time for new land was to be heard is time for new friends just before four in the very beginning of time until its banks we should have learned by now we shouldn't learn how we should have learned a lot about everything cool ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
ha ha the paintings by the paprika is better thank you this is always
nice week week week week week week has been
ruined because who's always said the cubs cause they wasted some veteran to do about about that because to me they get wasted some estimate rep they use and jump drives and of course most of them are wasted novels many ways to get you to turn that into a jailhouse term five ten fifteen twenty thirty forty fifty years maybe life or maybe even the electric chair of this year's first but i saw it and the sort of moscow i ain't never gonna be a junkie i know
phil my veins would that poison i never gonna be one of them living just to hope and now says i'll soon do in the west
oh yeah week three years and dare remember one time he called the
battle the hard way and boy they ain't no human being shackled was called shivering sweat cramp up feelings and that's turning into an degrees of ball rolling paying your pride as a man that blown away this is actually to try to control yourself thing about it became one korean chile tonight smashing how you weren't paying wanted to scream out when all that came out of you was heat is
warm and also teens as hell broke loose inside of you they are cramped the things of this painter who do not control the mucus that ran down from your nose or your bowels rejecting its food from your body and you find yourself in your own kids and your muscles nodding up like piano as playing some time upheld feel concerto not
music teacher here weird sound or noises that you would imagine to hear him go and you wonder why god enormous and merciful laurie grant poured his hand at ut quiet american at
the peak sixty eight it's both
thank you yeah
yeah thank you a very ms
harris oh oh a day day day these
games man is it
cain and bad a map real purpose in the new one week mikey gets most of a summit to see that they can pay a typical write poetry or they can be doctors or that of the north into the dishwashers that the league notice and what would you try and hold its heyday i want my kids like black people because one because white people and that kids and
young people are the kids that people that the kids make a case in the lower courts or when i was going in and understanding each day nobody does it get a little you know let our children cheer up the team in the eighties and he's thinking hates children will love from the get go from the very beginning and yes yes i know this love is kenya's come calming doing
brother would know and a swinging sense of how we met we human beings to black white has been shaken i don't apply this go ladies the list is what isn't and a puerto rican cause i only entitled that they dismissed as bases lesbian to americans america's an accomplice country the irish the only the valiant and everybody and also what they are the unions
and blood brothers in all and also puerto rico to what thirty two years old when i knew about it my mother's lips to my father's along greenland's amro oceans and once on an island swollen long and rich history of spanish clubs india africa and europe they say this is my people make a little united states of america and what if you don't make the big time like they got a whole lot of genes that a whole lot of things
can happen but that job has lost it or doma doesn't oppose us what makes statements what i'm going to say the global aluminum horizon that really the bread aisle not more job of bread idea only well twelve years by the only goal is for free what the difference is they may crack poor people go hungry especially when they got it a foul if i will wake of a talent give money to my mother i mean and tell him tell it to buy gaines to find housing and so on the money for seventy she completes a monument that once welcomed sure
kitman in spanish harlem and so i wrote this thing of mama feeling a mohawk how does ha i cannot still so hard to win the freezer but an iceberg revenue to make this a slow burn all the breezes and the whole world feel like they died my dad has soaked with sweat the windows are open but the garbage in the backyard of a power even the moon fresh air that it's fine to get in while eads and so what do you see i'm going to do you freeze in the winter to one knows someone running in
between an eighth while upwards of garbage rogers gets an original tune no no man in the world not even you can live the way that you are forced to pay the people running but the world isn't the science that's relevant then straight as ninety prisoners island twenty degrees in that employment and kids and there's an enormous big buy art to analyze it or active after walking iran that don't want to the figure at h and into the stone cobbled the
funny sounds i am and the man i know when i when i my mother tells me look us each had to sleep and then the new documentary about five o'clock in the morning and then i wake up and i see that's going on that some of mr davis cats or rats roaches viewing screen people at the whole trumpet <unk> been bouncing up or net any other year up in a way like superman man i just got to get over that we call from renting out a room he finally rex and i made it up to the rule that feels color appear dark and quiet until the lights are streetlights
news sure to make a lot of shadows and my quiet is broken by cats preaching and then silence again sounds suppose we can't discount rate i lacked but not too much you see reply course long cats within rate of everything where boehner rate will it's so everything we get is sort of like secondhand even us what is so sweat maybe you can watch a million times outside but inside would you go to get rid of all forms a you know i went on to write but it's a note that is just coming around a girl's nice spot them spoke at the men with my eyes from that rooftop i went to the bunny or just a bad man comes around and an uncle gonna cut me some colman
maybe some bridge listen to what's going on the scene then an omelet in fact let go milk and to do the same to my whole law eliminated thinking maybe isn't so bad when your mentors is maybe this is the way to really like that word to watch you is to want to marry when the hell was i ever going to be considered on human pain one was ever going to be accepted as someone that had something to add to the world and i discovered about me he was a cop according to the war i'm at one thing about people don't
have that maybe doesn't want its wealthy mama my father separation what were the final words in the factory and only this my father he'd tease out the floors in humanity's book about the eighties a new sound began to show rooms by big my sky seeing and maybe it's changing colors do that bit or somewhere
nate your reply i wonder when we must be drawn from and when i smiled but is also familiar to pt i had babies crying and many arguments for many different about the main bills go see him after the knowledge is not growing into a copy of madness thank you signs hanging out on people's property sprung out how much well in that this huge that we ain't that
and i peered down the climax of his backyard and cheryl and i think my life's been out like all really close to our own lives hong kong and i made a promise i make a promise that someday i'm not going to use anything else when you and i spend and three ball and wrong and i and i climb but oplinger pipeline and blue bottle you down the same first two
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NET Journal
Episode Number
The World of Piri Thomas
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-75-19s1rrr1).
Episode Description
This program gives an unflinching view of the "mean streets" of El Barrio, a section of New York City otherwise known as Spanish Harlem. The many strains of El Barrio are evoked through the experiences of one of its most noted residents, Piri Thomas. A lifelong inhabitant of the section, Thomas has known many of the frustrations of his people in this alien land. He was born into the poverty that most Puerto Ricans experience here. And failing in his hopes, Thomas has descended into the abyss of crime and drug addiction. But Thomas has been able to "beat the rap" impressed upon him by his environment, and his book "Down These Mean Streets" records this triumph over circumstance. Most recently, Thomas has been engaged in founding the East Harlem Creative Writing Workshop.2028In this documentary, Thomas is the ubiquitous voice, commenting on his own life in the Barrio and on the fate of his people. He also reenacts key incidents in his life such as his shooting by a policeman after he had held up a nightclub, and the agonies that accompanied his drug addiction. With a keyhole-like effect, the camera intrudes on the bare room where Thomas first inserted the needle, then thirsted for another "fix" in a "cold, shivering sweat," his "pride as a man blown away by a hell of shame." Then, still experiencing his "hell-filled concerto," Thomas punches a wall before offering "a eulogy for the amigos who didn't make it." The effect of life in the Barrio is conveyed first through a montage of faces, sounds, and moods.2028Later, through juxtaposition, it indicates how quickly the dream of a young Puerto Rican bride fades into the drudgery of a life with too many children and too few escapes; her husband, beaten by poverty, must fear his children's plaintive requests for circus tickets or new shoes. Again, later in the program, there is a juxtaposition of a fat rat, squatting triumphant over a Berrio garbage can and a funeral mass for a local resident killed in war.2028Children are also used to convey the moods of El Barrio, as they are asked to choose between New York and Puerto Rico and describe the lives of their parents. In their drawings, the children depict the schizophrenia of ghetto living, as roaches and rats lurk over darkened bedrooms. It is against this background that Piri Thomas must climb to a rooftop, ignoring the garbage and the refuse of lives, and boast "I am my majesty, Piti Thomas... I am a human being." And it is here that he can remember the feelings that helped him survive a prison term: "My life shall be an enchantment. I will bring my people off these mean streets into fresh clean air."2028A portion of Thomas' narration consists of dramatized readings from his book.2028NET Journal "The World of Piri Thomas" is an NET production. This hour-long piece was recorded in color on videotape and aired as NET Journal episode 175 on February 19, 1968, as NET Journal episode 214 on November 18, 1968, as NET Journal episode 240 on June 22, 1969, and as NET Journal episode 281 on July 13, 1970. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
This program documents the life of Piri Thomas and the "frustrations and horrors of poverty-ridden Spanish Harlem."
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Social Issues
Published Work: This work was offered for sale and/or rent in 1972.
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Editor: Misch, Mike
Narrator: Thomas, Piri
Producer: McCutchen, Dick
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Writer: Thomas, Piri, 1928-2011
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: cpb-aacip-79df2169259 (Filename)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Library of Congress
Identifier: cpb-aacip-d5e763dbbc2 (Filename)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
Generation: Master
Color: Color
Library of Congress
Identifier: cpb-aacip-ec74937c7bd (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: Color
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: cpb-aacip-3814c27060f (Filename)
Format: 16mm film
Library of Congress
Identifier: cpb-aacip-e12f1c93df0 (Filename)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: Color

Identifier: cpb-aacip-0f344e13971 (unknown)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 00:59:59
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “NET Journal; 175; The World of Piri Thomas,” 1968-11-18, Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 1, 2023,
MLA: “NET Journal; 175; The World of Piri Thomas.” 1968-11-18. Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 1, 2023. <>.
APA: NET Journal; 175; The World of Piri Thomas. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from