SUMMARY: This is an excellent 25-minute history lesson from author and historian Kenneth C. Davis on the Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag, which includes facts not taught in many schools. This is a great primer to dispel the myths ingrained in the holiday.
KEY QUOTE: “The true story of the first Thanksgiving, the true story of the pilgrims arrival, is a really important and fascinating story that we should really understand and know because it had such an impact on our history. Moving away from that tidy, sanitized version that got promoted for so long is an important part of understanding our history. The past does speak to the present. We can’t really understand who we are today without understanding where we came from. It wasn’t all peace and light in 1621.”
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DID YOU KNOW? We have a learning capsule about Thanksgiving with resources to help faithfully learn about the holiday.
More curated podcasts on Thanksgiving:
Although the Pilgrims have been centered and elevated in the myth of Thanksgiving that does not mean we should eliminate their narrative nor does it mean we cannot learn from them. History professor Robert Tracy McKenzie dispels some of the common myths associated with the Pilgrims, discusses why it is important to learn the truth about the past, and suggests how we can incorporate Thanksgiving into our everyday lives. The interview occurs in the first half of the podcast and ends at the 17:40 mark.Read more
Americans have been fascinated with Native Americans since arriving in the 1600’s. Native American culture, symbols, and names surround us, from mascots to the names of streets and mountains to the packaging of food. In an enlightening interview, the National Museum of the American Indian curator Paul Chaat Smith discusses the need to look at history with nuance, and in the case of Thanksgiving, avoid the oversimplification of both sides of the story.Read more
Like many American celebrations, Thanksgiving has been romanticized and mythologized. True, the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims did work together for almost a generation, but the story does not end there – it is messy and complicated. Genocide, white supremacy, and forced boarding schooling are just some of the tactics that were used by white people to control the indigenous population. Does this mean we need to stop celebrating Thanksgiving? Absolutely not, but we need to tell the whole story. Skip to the 4 min mark to get to the interview with George Fox professor of faith and culture Randy Woodley.Read more