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This article examines the complex, literary redefinition of blackness in Piri Thomas's Down These Mean Streets. Political movements of the late 1960s represent an important moment when blacks and Latinos were able to posit a point of solidarity. Blackness as a signifier of difference was re-defined through interethnic encounters at the intersections between black and Latinx peoples. However, such redefinition demands that we question the performance of racialized masculinity, especially when such performances mimic dominant representations of blackness. Therefore, this article focuses on scenes of interethnic discord in Thomas's work as central to the process of developing political consciousness about oppression and liberation.