I am a Fourth Generation; The Forgotten Generation

This is the first poem I’ve written in eight years. During Spring break of 2015, I attended P.I.L.O.T (Pacific Islander Leaders of Tomorrow.) My cohorts were showing waves of spoken word from different Pacific Islanders to the class: Jamaica Osorio, Terisa Siagatonu and Kathy Jetnil-Kijner. I felt inspired. I watched as my friend Ashlyn cleared her tears after watching Ms. Siagatonu’s poetry piece, “Education is Like Healing the Wounded.” Ashlyn spoke with soft aggressiveness and said, “An educated Hawaiian is a dangerous Hawaiian.” Gladly, she helped me toward the end of my poem as I was experiencing writers block, so I could present it to P.I.L.O.T talk. Finally, it was that time where Aunty Nani called my name. I scanned the room to see my fellow classmates and cohorts, all so young with bright minds, and all came from different back grounds and experiences. It was an honor to stand in front of them knowing they will go far in life. The world has yet to see what they can really do.

I am a Fourth Generation

I am a fourth generation

of Pacific Islanders who were once spiritual beings

living peacefully among the Taotaomonas

I am a fourth generation

of Pacific Islanders who were once brave warriors

willing to sacrifice their lives to protect their land

and their people

I am a fourth generation

a missing puzzle piece tossed around by bureaucracies

with their theories of social construction

misplacing my identity into categories where I do not fit

based on the color of my skin, I’m drowning

in a sea of blood from my ancestry

I asked my family, “why didn’t you teach me?”

they could never give me a straight answer

but now I know

I am a fourth generation

a survival mechanism used for my family to excepted by society

a broken society…

I stand here before you, and I want to tell you

this ends now

So here’s my advice from me to you

Know your roots

Teach you children, and your children’s children

Teach them the true meaning or song and dance

Teach them the true meaning of tatau

Teach them the true meaning of Aloha, Talofa, Hafa Adai and Bula

Let the generations sore like the I’wa bird

Go far in life but never forget the village that raised you

and never forget

“An Educated Pacific Islander is a Dangerous Pacific Islander”

We are the ocean

We are a nation

We are Pacific Islander Leaders of Tomorrow

From Tonga Victoria

P.I.L.O.T Alum [Cohort 2]
Pacific Islander Leader of Tomorrow | Summer 2015
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Los Angeles, California

Enroll: http://tinyurl.com/PILOTsummer2015


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