SUMMARY: Native American Mark Charles says that Thanksgiving is built on a “mythological potluck celebrated by Native Americans and Pilgrims back in the ‘Good ole Days.'” That myth is deeply hurtful to indigenous people. Does that mean we need to stop celebrating Thanksgiving? No, but we should recognize the wounds that are still open and not perpetuate the myths associated with Thanksgiving.
KEY QUOTE: “We can have Thanksgiving without the myth. We can give thanks without fabricating a memory. We can make time to sincerely say “Thank you.” But it won’t be easy, because giving thanks requires being honest and vulnerable, and that is difficult to do for a nation living in deep denial of its own unjust history.”
More curated media on Thanksgiving:
Navajo and author Mark Charles uses Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation as a backdrop for detailing the indigenous ethnic cleansing that was happening under the sixteenth president’s watch while declaring a day for “thanksgiving and praise.” Charles previously celebrated Thanksgiving (see The Myth of Thanksgiving and Racial Conciliation), but starting in 2018 he stopped after continuing to learn about the history of the holiday. This is a good article to understand why some people choose not to celebrate Thanksgiving.Read more
A meal, particularly at Thanksgiving, is an excellent way to get to know your neighbors and/or co-workers. But to avoid the common traps of the “good giver” and the “poor receiver,” we must first practice true hospitality by putting in the time to develop relationships.Read more
If you are looking to change the narrative around Thanksgiving pastor Erina Kim-Eubanks has five practical ideas ranging from researching the land you currently on to (re)learning history to extending hospitality to begin changing the narrative around Thanksgiving in your household.Read more