Salvador Peter Tomas
100 years Gay, Black, Proud and Still Singing

Edith Stephens, J Taylor Basker, and Salvador Peter Tomas. Photo: J Taylor Basker

Westview News
June 3, 2020
J Taylor Basker

On June 22, 1920, Salvador Pius Thomas, aka Tomas, was born in the county of Harrison in Mississippi. On June 22nd he will turn 100 years old. Peter, as we know him in the Westbeth artists community, is a delightful and talented gentleman with a wicked sense of humor that is still sharp. He is an African-American whose achievements have been awesome. He was an opera singer and actor, and has graced our hallways with dignity and pride. He always celebrated his birthday on Gay Pride Day so we could view the fireworks after his party in his close friend Edith Stephen’s river view apartment. Edith, 101 years young, describes Peter as full of joy and jokes, always looking to help his neighbors. After 9/11, when he witnessed the collapse of the towers downtown, he cooked meals for the 6th Precinct for months. His ascent in the professional classical music world was difficult as an African-American, but he persisted and developed a vast and impressive repertoire and reputation.

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