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Spokane Black Voices - Dear Ancestor Letter from Sian Armstrong

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

By Sian Armstrong 8th Grade

Chase Middle School

{div class=”OutlineElement Ltr SCXW22325546 BCX4”}Dear Ancestors,

We have come a long way from the vast prairie fields of our homeland. We were taken in shackles and thousands of us died on the way to a new land where we had no freedom, and no liberty. We had no rights, and we were viewed as property, and later, two-thirds of a person. But we kept pushing forward. We kept living as slaves, working for our lives, and were stripped of our families. We held on to one hope that someday we would be free, and we would be viewed as people, not two-thirds of a person.

And after 100 years, we were freed from our chains, and had no master. But the fight did not end there. Even though we were free, people started to separate us, whites and Black people. Fast forward to the 15th Amendment, Black men were allowed to vote and have a say in who runs our country, but still segregation existed. We pushed through that as well, along with the deaths of many around us, simply because we were Black. Many brave African-Americans stood up to this law, like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and many more to come. Finally, with one last great push, segregation was gone, and it seemed like every black person in the United States Of America stood up and said, “Free at last, free at last.”

After all that, some people still did not like us because of who we are, including officers of the law. We sometimes died by their hands, but we formed a community and helped each other up when we went down. On Jan. 20, 2009, the first ever BLACK president was inaugurated and for a moment, we felt like anything was possible.

Since you’ve left us, ancestors, we have gone to the moon, reached the far corners of the Earth, dived into the depths of the oceans, and explored the world around us. Yes, we still are fighting to be complete equals with the rest of society, but at least we know that we are a little bit closer. And now you know too. Wish us luck, and know that no matter what, we will always know that you are the ones who helped us get to where we are today.


Sian Armstrong, Black and Proud forever{/div}

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