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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Life Living in Spokane, Washington

By Halima Kabba

Every Spokane teen has their own story of growing up, facing challenges and working to match or beat expectations. Now add the complicating factors of being a Black high school student in a city that is often welcoming, but overwhelmingly white. In today’s Serendipity section, The Spokesman-Review shares essays and a poem by six such young people. Each of their stories brings a different perspective. And yet each of them expresses a yearning for acceptance and respect.


There are many pros and cons to life in Spokane as a Black person. I moved here in 2017 and thought this town was weird, honestly. I’m so used to all the violence living in Seattle and us just minding our business. The schools in Seattle didn’t really care about your education; they just wanted you to leave the school. Spokane School District takes care of the students and helps them in ways I’ve never been helped.

The years living here made me less self-centered and come out my shell due to so many people being welcoming. I love the views and parks that Spokane provides. I’ve had my fair share of ignorant and racist individuals, but that never stopped me from liking others who aren’t my shade. Yes, there’s violence everywhere, but the first year I was here I barely heard anything and that was a relief. The more I stayed here, the more violence came around. I’ve lost many friends due to gun violence here, and I’m scared everyday that another person close to me will lose their life trying to be something they’re not. Overall, Spokane makes me want to do big things in life. This town makes me want to do the impossible no matter how long it takes.

I miss how life was like in Seattle. I knew where everything was and knew many people, even the people that chilled at the local gas stations. We would always have block parties. Everyone came to celebrate just because we were close like family. Spokane is something like that, which I like. I know some of the people at the local gas stations all the time, but the block parties never happen here.

Spokane is a very diverse place, there’s people of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Life in Spokane, Washington as a Black individual made me realize that I can do things the same way as lighter complexion people can. I can show people that it doesn’t matter where you came from; it matters who you want to be in the future.

Halima Kabba, a Seattle native, is a graduating senior at Rogers High School. One side of her family is from Gambia, the smallest mainland country in West Africa. She can be reached at