Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Not Thanksgiving. It's our Day of Mourning

I wrote my annual Thanksgiving post a bit early this year. Here it is for those who didn't see it before:

A Modern-Day Thanksgiving Story

My post from two years ago contains a lot of links for those who want to explore this issue in depth:

For Those With Warm and Fuzzy Feelings About Thanksgiving

Here is another essay written by a Native American woman explaining her views about this faux "holiday":

Why Don't You Celebrate Thanksgiving? An Essay


H├ęctor Portillo said...

BInt, I agree with you regarding Thanksgiving...
I thik it's very ironic that US citizens are so defensive when it comes to property rights, when the US was born and grew by taking land away.

Kristin said...

Thanks for this post.

A question, though. So... Where I grew up in the South, I very rarely heard this Thanksgiving myth about the "Pilgrims and the Indians"--and never heard it recited as historical fact. I thought that, as a parent, you may have a sense of what kids in schools are told about Thanksgiving these days?

Anyway, I came from a very small farming community, and Thanksgiving was just a harvest festival where we got together with family to cook a good meal and spend time together.

Although I know very little about the historical evolution of the holiday itself, my sense is that it just started out as a kind of harvest festival... And that it evolved quite differently in different regions of the country. These kinds of festivals are fairly innocent in many parts of the world, but I would also wonder how intertwined the Southern celebration would have been with plantation culture and the appropriation of African traditions.

I'll have to do some reading on this. Anyway, thanks for providing the links and asking the questions.

queen emily said...

Like I think I said to you in BR, I think Thanksgiving's grotesque in what it does. It's like this mythic, profoundly wrong rewriting of a bloody, brutal colonisation.

I've only been to one Thanksgiving dinner (in Canada actually) and to my foreign eyes, the whole thing is just a bizarreo idea--despite the presence of turkey and pie (both of which I am generally in favour of).


Hey Tulip,

I have heard many people asking me WHY Christians acknowledge Thanksgiving - given its history. The history of Thanksgiving DOES NOT pertain to the current application of that holiday for many people.

July 4th was Independence Day in this country's history FOR WHITE PEOPLE because blacks were not legally recognized as human beings on that day in history.

Does this mean all blacks should refuse to acknowledge the 4th of July as a holiday since HISTORICALLY it was not a day of freedom for them?