about

“Dear Young Man of Color” is a spoken word piece written and performed by poet Fong Tran that takes the form of a letter to young men of color, addressing systemic, institutional, interpersonal, internalized, and intersectional racial, gender, and class oppression. Speaking from the center of a group of young men of color standing with and framing him, Tran covers topics such as the criminalization of black and brown bodies, the impact of African American, Latino, Asian, and class stereotypes, cultural appropriation, intersectional race, class, and gender oppression, colonization, immigration, the school to prison pipeline, police brutality, and resiliency and activism against oppression. The text of his original poem can be found here.

discussion

How does the poet talk about different forms of racism, such as internalized, interpersonal, institutionalized, systemic, and representational? What examples does he use?

What stereotypes and about which people are referenced in this poem?

How does he demonstrate awareness of his own identity and challenge stereotypic representations associated with how he might be perceived?

How does the poet talk about class and how it relates to race and gender?

What topics might come up if this poem were addressed to young women of color?

How does the poet talk about colonization and immigration?

What are the “oppression olympics” he refers to? How are people of color frequently pitted against each other to maintain dominant norms and status quo?