Posts Tagged 'San Francisco'

For the children of immigrants who don’t know what language to speak in California… by Erika Kent

I do not have the heart to tell my children, they will never feel at home here

I do not have the heart to say, even though our family has lived here for well over 30 years, our history will never be grounded here

Our experience will never be fully recognized here

Even though you my future children, will be born here, you will be treated as people who fled on boats or bare feet to get here,

You will be third world battered children here


In this place where the children of immigrants are painted with the red white and blue stripes of historical assimilation

I do not know the right way to tell you my children, that when people ask you what you are, you will be expected to respond in government imposed generalizations


Where specifics don’t matter, just check marks on the U.S. census

Latino/Hispanic, Non white, other, check one please

Even though, you my future children,

will be born here-

Our ancestors native tongue, will come to you as a second language,

And if you are anything like me, you will live a lifetime of division

Unsure whether the children of immigrants are allowed to call themselves Americans

But you,

You will be a beautiful and proud example of what it means to be a fluent broken English speaking ESL reject

To my future children, I can not tell you, what or who you are meant to become,

All I can do, is try to teach you from personal experience,

And Mijo in this country, people will laugh when you tell them where our family is from,

Mija, They will grin with pure unfaded content, they will smear their hand be-neathe their nose and sniff…

They will laugh out loud at you with their stomachs slanted towards the sky as they pat your back and ask if you too are a Colombian drug traffikking mule.

But you, my future children, will learn not laugh or smile at this,

You will learn to stand straight faced and restless after years and years of witnessing this.

After being aware for years and years, that this country was founded with that same type of generalizations and anti immigrant sentiment

You will tell them, about how Colombians are not all drug induced people, we are simply living aftermath of failed US Intervention and policies

I do not have the heart to explain, to you,

my future children,

Why one day when you dare, to be proud of your bilingual tongue and dark brown skin, many will feel intimidated and put off by it

I do not know how to explain, why it is that this melting pot society melts away the faces of individual cultures in order to claim cultural diversity

You, my future children, will live knowing, that no matter what culture or country you choose to claim

Somos gente con familias

And Mija, You will understand that that we believe in community more then borders

Mijo, You will already know that our families loyalty has never lied with any gun toking concept of patriotism

And despite any taunting or racist propaganda, we already know human beings can not be defined by their citizenship.

For you my future children, I do not have the heart to say a lot of things but, for the sake of tradition and community I will ask you

Child, to learn how to raise a fist,

Cast a smile, and to believe in something bigger then yourself

Because You, are part of the the next generation, who must stay awake dreaming.

You are not the light

But you, my future children, are the passage.


Beast by JT Substance

You anti-American immigrant leech
if you don’t like America, why don’t you leave?
if you don’t like America, why don’t you go home?”
another voice tells me after not placing my hands on my heart during the Star Spangled Banner
“You’ve talked shit about this country
expressing your pain in this country
aren’t you thankful we serve you in this country?
all you do is take money from this country
you ungrateful…”

Wait, wait, hold on. Ungrateful?
I wasn’t here by choice, I believe I said “ok” the previous days
before I packed my bags and road a plane to LA
I was a kid looking at the eyes of America, this bully
he had his hand out threatened “give it” or he’ll pull me
down and stomp me on the ground, so I gave in
it was a desirable thought that peace gon come but when he’s cravin
I stay a slave to his gluttonous hunger til he ate me
now this beast has got me trapped in his belly

In the Philippines…
the aftermath of colonial war got our parents slain
that’s why children find a livin lookin up to white names
our rich culture and identity is left in hieroglyphics
now we live this sad reality today to be specific

Imagine houses made of cardboard and kids fifty pounds
kill each other for a bowl of soup aint scared of the sound
of police, because it’s fight and die or don’t fight and die
this is Filipino reality when they look up to the sky
and see a billboard of the bully, saying McDonald’s and Coke
reminding you that he can feed you and bring you some hope
that’s why we stab each other fearlessly, looking for change
but our hustle and our kill aint enough, it stays the same
each and every one of us tried to plant a seed to grow crops
but the bully buys it off so he could use it for stocks
he took our fruits with his Dole, took our milk with his Nestle
took our beach with his resort, took our shoes with his Nike’s
tells us we can’t progress, he’s convinced us we’re lazy
tells us we are less, while we watch his Hollywood babies
make us envy them and wish we were his little children
we look up to this cannibal who comes to us and we give him
what we have, but if we’re broke he comes to swallow us whole
am I supposed to feel good when he’s digesting what he stole?
digesting me, using me so he could grow, this tyrant
leviathan of the sea, ogre of a giant
we gave him all his nutrients, paying these taxes
working for less, build his success while he advances
he’s been to different lands, swallowed other brothers and sisters
now he says he will deport us as his belly gets stricter
as if we’re leaving his belly with more than we had before
his exploits, cost of living has made us remain poor
legal or illegal, immigrants boost the economy
washed white to bend in fields and prepared for sodomy

But maybe you’re right, maybe I should be grateful
In his belly with my mom’s paycheck-to-paycheck life
maybe I’d rather be here than my desolate land devoured
where billions of hungry mouths live each day with a dollar

Wherever I’m taken, without equity I’m restless
you see I’m not anti-American; I’m pro-justice.

Power of the Immigrant 2 by Jacqui Wang

We have all came here
With our wet backs bearing burdens
From the rubbles, size of pebbles
Past pieces held for eternity, past down till eternity

Remnant pebbles
Of our fortresses crumbled
By uncle sam’s handle
On what was ours

your subversions to invade were said with good intentions
calling us brother
then leaving ur brothers, motherless, hopeless
Raping terrains not yours to begin wid
Plucking out girls, like each crop plucked
Full outa luck, breaking
In our own homes.
Torn goodbyes to the mother who bore us our own soul

Left to
recollect our remnant pebbles
and bring them over
In our duffle bags and luggage packs
Clenching tight, this is our only worth of existence
In a place yoo call us alien immigrants.
Our reminiscents of the a home that once called us their children

We all came here
With our heavy bags, just wanting to be free
We are nothing more than a spare of hands and feet
You said we’d reach freedom this time
But most of us still live in poverty
We are poor in value to them
We mean nothing more
Than the scraps left over from minimum wage
Depleting diplomas on graduation day
Upscalin statistics
Admissions Barred institutions, grappling the little we have left
The scraps left over from minimum wage.

Foreign immigrant,
My father was only human when he got his green visa.
Oma and apa spent weeks memorizing repetitively
Empty words of the citizeship test
Passed and still illegitimate
Still getting looked upon as
Mr. China Man. Go back to china man.
When oma and apa spent more years
Here in the states
Than the little 16 year old not yet to be man
Was telling them to go back to our land.
When he shouldve been lookin around

If he’d be lookin around he wulda seen
your land is
Filling with us aliens.

Look around, we’re
Filling up your streets
With colored faces

See you had us lost.
Thinking we were tagged first foreign

Remind me

Remind me
Who came to who first.
Who stepped in whose first.
Who was it that poured opium into China, pryed open legs of the Philippines, bombed Hiroshima, funded genocide of Cambodia, Iraq, El Salvador.
Shipped slaves from Afrika to coolies all over East Asia.
Who came to who first

Answer me
Answer me then tell me.
How you want to deport me

Jacqulyn Eun Sun Whang

Jacqulyn Whang is a 19 year old Korean-American poet living in San Francisco. This summer she will be representing San Francisco in Brave New Voices. She grew up all over LA county, but her family is currently living in Diamond Bar. She writes poetry not only to feed herself, but also to grow in community with others. Jacqulyn continues to perform and development new work while attending the University of San Francisco.

Khristine Manalang

Hello, my name is Khristine Manalang. I participate in the Young Artists At Work program within the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. My hobbies are to play video games, read, draw, listen to music, browse the internet, and write. As such most of my art works are stylized after the Japanese comics called manga, or the character/design art that is featured in the video games I play. However, I do love a sense of realism within my art, so I stay within the lines of semi-realistic in my pieces. My dream is to become a video game character artist/designer within Japan, or at least become a manga artist and produce a comic of my own. I like to think that practice maces progress, rather than perfection; at the end of it all, perfection is in the long run, boring; I find constantly making improvements to be much more exciting. Art is a form of expression, a mirror of your own self being shown out to the world. So, it does not matter to me if others consider my art “odd” or “strange”–I would like to think that as another way of saying I am “unique.”

Raul Llamas

Hi, my nameis Raul Lammas. I work in the Young Artists At Work program at YBCA. My interests include playing video games, watching wrestling, and body building. I’m a Senior at Raoul Wallenberg High School. I am so glad to be graduating this year because I’m sick of school–not to be rude, but I can’t wait for the summer. After summer I will be attending the Art Institute of San Francisco for Game Art and Design. The idea of college excites me, not because of learning new things but because of the freedom I’ll have. The one thing I”m looking forward to the most is not having to wake up in the morning.

Fabiola Raygoza

Hello, my name is Fabiola Balza Raygoza. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California, on Mission St. I’m 17 years young and I’m Chicana. I go to Leadership High School. I’m a really mellow person and just like to have fun and chill. I love to read and draw. Drawing is a career I would like to pursue. My dream is to be a comic book artist. I think that would be heka fun. One of my biggest inspirations is my family and the kids in my neighborhood.