A special Thanksgiving edition
It is a time to give thanks. For African Americans, that usually mean family, food and how far God has brought us.
It can also mean remembrance, of a people who ultimately shed blood in the spirit of giving thanks.
In 1541, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado celebrated the first recorded Christian thanksgiving in Texas.
Thanksgiving was named a national holiday by then President George Washington in 1789. It wasn’t until 1941 when the fourth Thursday in November is decreed a Thanksgiving holiday. But it is 1621 we remember as the first.
Plymouth, Massachusetts. 1621. The Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims. Two different races of people, two different cultures, one occasion. One came to find peace, the other wanted to make peace. They both came together on one day to give thanks for what they have, for their happiness but one group broke the creed, one group shattered the meaning of thankfulness.
After the Wampanoag shared their knowledge of a self sustaining culture, with farming and hunting techniques, the Pilgrims thanked them by basically annihilating them, continuing the legacy that they supposedly left England for…power, supremacy, oppression, death.
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and remember the things to be thankful for. And to remember that it is more than about feast. It is also about extermination, it is also about those Native Americans who fell to the hands to the people who sat at the same table as them.
As the last slice of turkey is eaten, and that last piece of pie cut, remember that there is a nation at mourning. Because for the Native Americans, thanksgiving means much more than celebration, it means a loss of its people.
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