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He also befriended African Americans, and began to grapple with the racial status society imposed on him.This grappling led him to tour the South with a black friend.The family settled in the border area of Matamoros where Lizaar worked washing clothes, charging .50 a dozen for men’s clothing and .00 for women’s.Young Ben learned to ride and break horses and stayed in Mexico about twelve years before moving to Brownsville, where he lived until emancipation.Her mother, Marvel (Williams) Cowan, was a newlywed housewife, married to Odie Cowan, a salesman.
Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets (New York: Vintage Books, 1967, 1997); Eugene Mohr, “Piri Thomas: Author and Persona,” Caribbean Studies 2 (1980): 61-74.; Ilan Stavans, “Race and Mercy: A Conversation with Piri Thomas,” The Massachusetts Review 37 (1996): 344-354; Telephone Interview with Suzie Dod Thomas by Tisa Anders, June 12, 2012.
That year, Odessa’s sister, June, was born at home.
When the census taker arrived a few months later, their father was not recorded as a resident of the family home.
When Thomas was a teenager, his parents became more prosperous and the family moved to Long Island.
The move was hard on Thomas, who had inherited his father’s dark skin.