Better late than never…. Here it goes. About a week and a half ago, forWord featured at Tuesday Night Cafe in Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo. If you didn’t know, TNC is basically the mecca of Asian…
So my favorite and the longest running free performances series in Downtown LA, Tuesday Night Cafe, needs our help to raise $11,500 to #KeepTNfree and today is the LAST DAY to do so! Donate online now: http://bit.ly/TNPdonate.
So what if it is not Throwback Thursday, I started to reminisce about this Asian-American spoken word collective I used to be on the grind with called, “forWord.” When I first learned that we were featuring at TNC, I was ecstatic and honestly nervous. I couldn’t believe it. This was 2011. Post-UCI. We were younger then and didn’t really know where we were going, but we were doing it. Thanks to Mark and Narinda, I had been to TNC as a listener before and I remember how inspired I felt, connecting with people, relating to their struggles, and enjoying everyone’s creativity. And now, we were given the opportunity to feature and share ourselves in spoken word. I recall the host, Johneric, who warmly introduced us by saying something like, “They are not going backwards. They are moving forWord!” We felt the push in our veins and so we stepped up to the mic. Exactly at that moment, the nerves went away. I didn’t feel like we were performing for strangers. I felt at home and I reflect upon that feeling today.
Acceptance is the first word that comes to mind when I think of TNC. There is a community that exists there. Our community exists here. TNC is the heart of Asian-American spaces in not only Los Angeles, but California (and I’m from the Bay). Yes, I believe this space is necessary because it instills hope that we as a people will never again be forgotten and overlooked like in some history textbooks. If things didn’t make sense before, it made a lot more sense after that Tuesday night. Here’s to another 16 years. Thank you, Tuesday Night Project!
UPDATE: We are back on a performance hiatus as a collective until an undetermined date. However, we are still active in the scene in other ways. Mark helps organize The Definitive Soapbox (TDSB) every last Friday of the month at The Mirage Cafe in Long Beach. Stephanie and Eddy are co-founders/organizers of Sunday Jump every 1st and 3rd Sunday at Kapistahan in Historic Filipinotown. We encourage self-expression over everything so please come support your poetry open mic spaces!
Next Sunday on May 19th as part of our Lineage Edition series, we will be honoring Carlos Bulosan, Filipino-American novelist and poet! Please bring your favorite poems by him to share so we can together celebrate his legacy.
“The old world is dying, but a new world is being born. It generates inspiration from the chaos that beats upon us all. The false grandeur and security, the unfulfilled promises and illusory power, the number of the dead and those about to die, will charge the forces of our courage and determination. The old world will die so that the new world will be born with less sacrifice and agony on the living…” - Carlos Bulosan
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