Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I will have my turkey and eat it too! OR, Why I will still celebrate Thanksgiving

Recently I had a discussion with a soror in regards to something she'd read about not celebrating Thanksgiving. The reason was one that I've heard before from many "I'm-blacker-than-you" individuals: "This is the white man's holiday. How can you celebrate them taking land from Native Americans, killing them, etc etc etc?"

Well, I'll tell you why I still celebrate Thanksgiving. Because I'm thankful, dammit.

I have my health, a good portion of my sanity, good friends and family. I'm not out on the streets wondering where my next meal is coming from. I'm not struggling to make ends meet. Even though I'm not where I want to be right now, I'm in a very good place and I know I've been blessed.

My celebration has nothing to do with White, Black, Indian, none of that. It's about what God has done and is doing for me. Really, how many holidays are still actually celebrated in the spirit in which it was originally created? Halloween? I doubt too many kids are worried about warding off ghosts who may come back from the dead to destroy crops. Christmas? Please, Christmas is all about who gets the best gift. Valentine's Day? How many people even know the story of St. Valentine? Cinco de Mayo? St. Patrick's Day?! IDK, maybe getting drunk and wearing green was the purpose of St. Paddy's. (sarcasm)

What's my point? It is simply this: If you chose not to celebrate Thanksgiving, that is definitely your prerogative. I'm not much of a holiday person anyway (long story). But Please know that on the fourth Thursday of every November, I will be with my family, eating turkey, ham, mac & cheese, greens, pecan pie or whatever has been prepared. And I will not feel guilty about it. Instead, I will be thankful that I'm in a position to do so.

(BTW, if you really wanna get technical--and I love technicalities--the Pilgrims didn't start Thanksgiving. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America. But then again, maybe you don't like to concern yourself with facts, so you can pay this no mind if you so choose.)

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