SUMMARY: Did you know that the Pilgrims had a fondness for colorful clothing and not the stereotypical plain, black wardrobe that is normally depicted? Did you know that religious freedom was not the primary motivation for the Pilgrims to cross the Atlantic? Our favorite Thanksgiving historian Robert Tracy McKenzie debunks five myths that are commonly associated with the Pilgrims.
KEY QUOTE: “When it comes to historical memory, the old saying that you can’t choose your relatives is just plain wrong. Americans have chosen the Pilgrims as honorary ancestors, and we tend to see their story as inseparable from the story of our nation, “land of the Pilgrims’ pride.” We imagine these honorary founders as model immigrants, pacifists and pioneers in the democratic experiment. We have burdened them with values they wouldn’t have recognized and shrouded their story with myth.”
BONUS II: If you want to learn more about the Pilgrims, we recommend the 2015 documentary The Pilgrims.
DID YOU KNOW? We have a learning capsule about Thanksgiving with resources to help faithfully learn about the holiday.
More curated articles 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