Posts tagged spoken word.

Fong Tran Free Write/Right

Prompt: Who has the right to represent you? What do they need from you for that representation?

You only have to right to represent me if you admit openly
that you can never perfectly nor appropriately represent me

You can only try represent my passion, my conviction, my complexity
You can only brush over the detailed etchings of my mind
Only stay shallow to the depth of my character
Only stay surface to the ocean that is my voice

However I warn you that my history is not to be simplified
My identity is not to be labeled
My health is not to be cured
It is universal. It is everything. It is me.

Fong Tran Poetry Spring Shows

3.29 Saturday
Performance for Slow Food Conference @ Sac Food Bank 2:00pm

4. 2 Wednesday
Poetry Workshop @ Sacramento City College Cultural Awareness Center 1:00pm

4.4 Saturday
Guest Speaker “No Time to Lose” Professional Conference @ SCUSD Serna Center

4.15 Tuesday
Poetry Feature @ Sonoma State University

4.16 Wednesday
Mahogany Urban Poetry Series featuring Fong Tran @ Queen Sheba 9:00pm

4.23 Wednesday
Hot Buttons Spoken Word for Social Justice @ Sol Collective 6:00pm

4.25 Friday
Poetry Workshop @ University of Denver *tentative*

5.2 Friday
Poetry Workshop for SAYS Summit Sacramento Area Youth Speaks @ UC Davis

5.3 Saturday
Keynote for UC Davis Transfer Weekend @ Student Community Center MPR 10:00am

5.8 Wednesday
All People’s Recognition Ceremony University 4:00

Dear Young Man of Color

By Fong Tran

Dear Young Man of Color,

I want to begin this letter by saying that I’m sorry
I’m sorry because statistically speaking….

you will become a statistic

that numbers about you and your kind
will run off
like the dates, names, numbers and descriptions
of newspaper Obituaries

Latino males ages Ten to Twenty Four
Nineteen times more likely to be murdered than White counterparts
Two point one million inmates in the prison
Forty point one percent% of them are made up of African Americans
Thirty Nine point six percent% of Southeast Asian Males drop out of high school

You will be America’s most wanted
because you will be America’s most hated stereotype
Thug, Thief, Delinquent, terrorist
murderer, criminal, felon, hoodlum, Gangbanger, Ex-con, Etc.
you will be every policemen’s profile description

They use everything about you, against you
first it was eugenics and they said it was in your genes
then they blamed your hip-hop culture and not the crack dope fiends
but the music was to liberate us
then told control of it
now all it does is break our trust
man, we used to believe in it
then Miley Cyrus appropriated everything
and starting twerking on it

And you’re probably thinking
how’s this Asian kid hood enough
you’re confused
why this model minority
is telling you about oppression
but trust me when I say
there is nothing model about my life
section 8 housing, welfare checks and food stamps
becomes my families helicopter dropped foreign aid
and trust me when I say
that there nothing more gangsta
than have parents that hustle loaves of bread
in destitute Pilipino refugee camps for 8 months

But you see they try to pit us against each other

They force us to play oppression Olympics
but this shit is more like the hunger games
and people are looking to assassinate you
that even though you bear historical scars of slavery
and fucked up immigrant policy
you will be hunted down
they will be coming in packs
and you struggle with minimum wage rags
to hold back the bleeding
they will be coming like the angry villagers
and you will be their needle in their haystacks
and prison industrial complex is the testament
how they will burn the whole house just to get to you

But you will be resilient
you will overcome
that even though everything
will be against you
you are exactly what this world needs
they put you behind bars
just so you wouldn’t raise it
let me make it clear
that even though you start from the bottom
you change society beyond here

you must be the unexpected
the underdog
the unforeseen
the unruly
you will break the molds
Shake status quo,
deconstruct the powers that be
that even though we’ve had innocent fallen
soldiers like Trayon Martin, Fong Le, Jose Montoya
you follow the blood lines and legacy of
Che Cavara, Malcolm X and Richard Aoki

you are destined beyond the statistics that binds you down
it is all a facade, a mirage in the distance
made to hide your greatness

but you will be a champion
you will not let this world change you

you will change this world


Brother from another Mother

Special feature on RevoluionsPerMind (RPM) ›

The problem with what’s taught in School.

Title: History Textbooks.

Original poem by Fong Tran

Words to Poem: of page)

Directed and Edited by Somchay Phakonkham

This was an awesome project that I got a chance to do out in Melbourne, Australia. Shouts to Steve Nguyen and Indigo for hooking me up with Somchay.

Dropping a new Spoken Word/ Interview Video by The Fifth Productions. Shout outs to Julie, Howard, and UC Irvine SASA community for having me down in SoCal to keynote at their first Southeast Asian Graduation and for me to do my craft! #Honored and #humbled

"A love poem dedicated to the woman of my life"
Music by Matthew Vista
Singing by HoHoua Xiong
Audio Editing: William Wong
Video Editing: Antony Marshall
Shout outs to UC Davis SAFE Southeast Asian Furthering Education for taking part in the video

Humbled and grounded

Long rant/story about my plans and future and insirations in my life. I’d been thinking alot lately.

So Fong asked me what do i want to do after the Navy. 
I told em that i wanna save enough money to open my own Dance Studio.
And if i didnt save enough, i’ll go for another maybe 2 years and then come back and open my own dance studio and find a Job and hold Dance Competitions and have free dance sessions and workshops.
I love my Sacramento community and it would be nice if the whole Community knew what Hiphop Dancing was.
When i grow up all i want to do is give to my Sac Community.
I learned best from the Best Mentor ever.
He dedicates his life to the Youngins and Youths, 
I should too, through Dancing!
I want the To Show the people who looked down on me and said that i will never make it and put me down that i can do it and i will. 
I want to be an Impact in the Community. 
I’ll come back and become a Mentor, Dance Teacher and most definitely i want to be an Inspiration in peoples life.
Everything i do, i always do it for others.
Why do i want to open my own dance studio and give free dance sessions and workshops and open competitions? 
I want to open a Dance studio for free sessions because i know that people are more motivated when they’re not at home and also when others dancers see’s that you’re struggling, they will probably help and assist you and thats what i want. Dancers helping eachother. I learned this through Self-experience so i know how it feels.
Why i want to have free dance workshops is because not all family can afford for their kids to take dance classes and wrkshops. And they will have to wait for a long time and not get a chance to ever learn.
I know that feeling because i’ve also been through it until my 12th grade year when i started joining crews.
I want to give people the chance to learn and grow and seeing people happy makes me happy. And through this experience, hopefully everyone in Sacramento knows how to dance and start alot of crews here in sacramento.
Why i want to hold competitions is because i want crews and people to show what they’ve learned and show their competitive side and let their name be crowned. Choreography and freestyling competitions.
And then i want to be a Mentor just like my 3 Favorite, Best and Only mentors Nai, Millie and Fong. 
While growing up i was hanging out with Bad people and didnt know which path to take until i met these 3 who changed my life forever. 
They’ve inspired me to be Proactive and chase my Dream, and not chase what people tell me to chase.
Actually, im leading it by still being a youth and a student and learning about the community through events and workshops. 
Fong, he made it into the Front Page NEWS! 
What an inspiration!
Thats something to look forward to.
Being known in the community as an inspiration and as a Very good person, i bet it’s such a Great feeling.
But i learned from the Best that no matter how many awards and medals you recieve, keep it hungry for more and more and never be comfortable that you’re good enough or you’ve gotten enough, just keep going for more.
So i want to be an Impact to the Sac Community when i grow up.
If it wasnt for my Mentors and Friends and Family, mostly Mentors.. I wouldnt have this much confidence in myself to pursue my dream and goals.
And if it wasnt for Alvin, i probably wouldnt have plan going to the Navy.
Hopefully i get in!
If not, my goals and dreams are still the same. But just go to college and work for the $$$ to open my studio.
Fong kept bringing this subject up so it had me thinking alot about my plans and future.

- Chuey Thao, High School Senior at School of Engineering and Sciences

gagaknives: An Apology to My Mother/Sorry Ma ›

A poem that simply defines truth not matter how hard it may come


Sorry for the long wait! But my writing process is extremely slow…when I write, I let my words and ideas come to me, I try not to force them out, and I try to get as much as I can into one piece to make it feel really complete. But anyway. Here is my latest piece, just finished it a few minutes…

"Remix" by Fong Tran

They say “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

So it must be the case that he who writes history

Wanted a round two

Cause all I see when I watch the news
are headlines that match

the titles in my high school history text books

Worlds and War and Western thinking

run on repeat like broken records

Eurocentric Euphuisms like West expansion

Exploration, Manifest Destiny, and Spreading Democracy

tactfully translated from truth as
Slave trade, colonists, imperialism

Exploitation of all your natural resources and a bad excuse for US Military

Americans play red, white skin and blue superman savior mentalities

Third world nations being left with nothing

But pillaged lands, broken homes & false promises of American dreams

History textbooks are written like a

A bad version of Lord of the Rings
and I’ve been bored since the first book

and we haven’t even talked about world history

American Propaganda

Last year’s communist

Is this year’s terrorist

The blatant basatardizing of brothers of color

To beat them down

so maybe history doesn’t repeat itself

it just seems to rhyme a lot

and we’re just caught up in the bad remix

If you don’t write your histories and tell your stories

Someone else will

And I’m not saying it’s the man

And that someone
is usually really white

Really old

And Really male

Someone need to tell my young students that

Vietnamese people

My people

My History is more than 2 textbook pages about a war

We’re a culture, a peoples, a way of life

Someone needs to tell my Hmong student

That his people’s history of helping the US CIA

In Secret War

And why its still a god damn secret

And no one knows about it

We need to tell our own stories

and if hypocritical historians can

ridiculously rant on this racist

run-down of history

than I can do it too

from now on

the migration of Southeast Asians to America

since the fall of Saigon

will now be known as

“Manifest beautification”

Cause goddammit we look good

When we talked about

Generalitistic construct that justifies a reverse racism

Called “Melting Pot of America”

Will now be called “Pho-ism”

Cause a little bit of Pho makes

Everything better

And mother is the real P.O.W.

Not prisoner of war

But through living through a refugee camp for 8 months

She was in a prison of warriors

We will write our histories

We will make our remixes

And this poem is the beginning of my mix tape

A small video about who I am and what I’m about - BE ABOUT IT! Shout outs to Lane Lewis and Christine Yeakley for making this video!!

"Don’t Really" Fong Tran Poetry Original