Claude Brown Ann Allen Shockley - Essay

Ann Allen Shockley

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Two very pointed autobiographies heavily instilled with that very elusive but provocative term called soul are Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land … and Piri Thomas' Down These Mean Streets…. These two books—widely sprinkled with similarities in experiences, rebelliousness, and search for identity—are suffused with the outpourings of word soul as gripping and heartrending as the blues of Aretha Franklin's soul songs.

Claude Brown, a Negro imprisoned in the festering Harlem ghetto, and Piri Thomas, a dark-skinned Puerto Rican hemmed in El Barrio of Spanish Harlem, relate with deep-felt honesty their rebellion against society and eventual determination to survive...

(The entire section is 458 words.)