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.
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.
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.
After listing five facts from the "first Thanksgiving" professor and reverend Randy Woodley details the common myths of the holiday before explaining that, although many indigenous people do not celebrate Thanksgiving, those that do should build upon the good parts of the Thanksgiving myth while exposing the lies.
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.
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.
White men have had a monopoly on Biblical interpretation in the west and the United States for hundreds of years. The voices of women and minorities have not been allowed to bring their valuable insight into Biblical analysis. Dr. Esau McCaulley's Reading While Black is his attempt to add to the cannon of Black Biblical interpretation in the steps of James Cone, Dr. Martin Luther King, W.E.B Duboise and countless others.
Confused about what critical race theory (CRT) is and its implications for Christians? Are there negatives to CRT? Positives? If you read, watch, and listen to the resources below, you will have the beginning of a well-rounded understanding of what CRT is, what CRT is not, and how Christians should approach this theory.
Big Brown Army host DeCruz and critical race theory expert Bradly Mason have an in-depth conversation where DeCruz asks several honest, poignant questions about CRT. Mason has clearly done a lot of research on CRT and we appreciated his nuanced answers. We particularly liked when he pointed out that as Christians we don't have to accept or reject CRT part and parcel as we rarely do that with other issues. We also liked that he recognizes that before starting a conversation terms must be defined because the uses and definitions of certain terms can be very different to another individual.
Although the podcast starts off a little goofy, Phil Vischer, Skye Jethani and Kaitlyn Schiess discuss the wholesale rejection of critical race theory in a meeting between six southern Baptist presidents. The real meat though is in the interview ( where we recommend you start -- skip to 43:19) with David Fitch who says that critical race theory, and all critical theories for that matter, are good diagnostic tools, but they must not be divorced from a Christian view of justice. The interview provides a succinct, nuanced history of critical theory that does not throw the baby out with the bath water.