“There are definitely opportunities and work to be done”: Month of Black History, conversation with Chianta Duncan

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Month of Black History, Conversation with Chianta Duncan

SPOKANE, Wash. – Although Spokane NAACP was founded over a century ago, the organization is still fighting for racial justice and justice in Spokane.

This was announced by its current president Chianta Duncan.

From 4 news Destiny Richards:

Going into an interview with her, I thought of Duncan as a “pillar” in the Spokane community.

But she considers herself more of a “guest” with a love for humanity and a desire to make Spokane the best place for everyone.

Chianta: Spokane NAACP has been in this city for 102 years.

It speaks to me that we are investing in this community, the NAACP is investing in the people we serve, and invested in the service of this city. So not just to the people, but also to the ministry of the city.

So we can support around racial justice, around education, we can support around civic activism, around health and disparities in health.

These are the things we focus on.

Destiny: Do you feel that you have made progress in this mission after you were president?

Chianta: I think we are making progress. Every movement is progress.

Of course, there is an opportunity and a job. I don’t know that there is a destination we will ever get to.

Destiny: How would you describe “the work that needs to be done?”

Chianta: As long as we live in a community where every single person – without taking anyone away – can be sure that he or she is safe, that he or she will be treated fairly if he or she interacts with law enforcement or the criminal justice system. As long as everyone does not know that their children will be safe and that the education system does not harm them, but helps them to be whole people, we have something to work on.

Destiny: You have also recently been a review spokesperson-reviewer. Why do you think it is important that your voice is in this and that you are involved in it?

Chianta: To have a columnist, a counselor who is a colored person who brings a whole range of diverse experiences, not only experiences but also challenges at the table to support people who are anywhere in the world. This is critical.

Destiny: Well, I want to ask the question as if I were someone addressing you, a columnist.

I recently wrote a story about a business owned by blacks. This got a great response because some people found it offensive to call it a black-owned business in the headline.

Had you talked to the same people in these comments. What would you say to that?

Chianta: Relax. First, relax and honestly say why you are uncomfortable hearing this.

In particular, black people, but I would say this about colored people, period – we had to exist in the United States, sometimes being, as my grandmother said, “see but not hear.”

So suddenly it seems no, we’re saying it’s a business owned by blacks.

We say look at it, look at it, we’re here and we’re vocal and we can celebrate and we can mourn, we can do whatever you do.

Destiny: Yes, I feel like it’s also part of Black History Month about how far we’ve come and where we’re going so far.

There was a time when a black man could not open a business in the region at all.

Chianta: Absolutely. Well, we’re still at the time, apparently when people are still asking why.

We are closer to that than far from it when people still say so. So we just have something to work on.

Destiny: What do you think of when you think of Black History Month? For people who didn’t even know it was Black History Month, how do you think they should reflect or celebrate Black History Month?

Chianta: First, it’s okay if you didn’t even know there was a Black History Month, if you’re a person who isn’t a colored person, it’s okay that you didn’t know it.

If you didn’t know that black people are important, that’s another question. This is not right.

Get to the point if you are inquisitive.

If you take the time to learn a little more about the complete history of America, if you do, I think you won’t fall in love with black people the same way I do.

Don’t fall in love with colored people, don’t fall in love with indigenous people, indigenous people, everyone.

You would be inadmissible because everyone has brought some strange things to this country.

For more stories and conversations about Month of Black History in Spokane, see kxly.com/blackhistorymonth.

RELATED: Reflect on Black History Month with this list of videos, events and books

Related: Spokane Black Business Directory

On the topic: “Black history for me is American history”: Month of Black History, a conversation with Phil Tyler

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