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Spokane Black Voices - Dear Ancestorletter from Thomas Armstrong III

Feb. 12, 2023 Updated Tue., Feb. 14, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.

By Thomas Armstrong III 8th Grade

Chase Middle School

{div class=”OutlineElement Ltr SCXW192997302 BCX4”}Dear Ancestor,

I would like to tell you about the differences in life from your time until now.

Back then, Blacks were seen only as property and were seen as two-thirds of a person. We were not allowed to own property until the Homestead Act of 1862. Now, Blacks are not seen as property, and we are seen as a people as a whole. We also had no right to vote, and we could not join the Army until the Revolutionary War against Britain.

Today, Blacks are still being beaten and killed just as they were during the 1800s.

However, blacks have invented many things like gas masks, peanut butter, potato chips, security systems to protect their homes from people who want to rob it and refrigerated trucks. Another good thing that Blacks have accomplished was the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. We also catapulted our path to having the first Black president of the United States (Barack Obama), and we also have a Black vice president (Kamala Harris).

In 2020, the movement called Black Lives Matter was started. It became the largest movement in the United States with 20 million people.

Finally, we made history by having an all-black staff on Nov. 23, 2020, referee an NFL game. A chef named Mariya Russel became the first black chef to earn a Michelin star.

As you can see, we’ve had a lot of struggles, but we’ve progressed. I don’t think you ever dared to think that Blacks are regarded as equals. We’ve made progress, yet we still have a long way to go to make our perfect world a reality.

Best regards,

Thomas Armstrong III{/div}

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