On this Thanksgiving Day Eve, let’s clarify a few misconceptions surrounding this wonderful holiday.
1-Everyone does not eat pumpkin pie. Black people do not eat pumpkin pie. You will be out of compliance if you show up to Thanksgiving dinner in a Black household with this sort of dessert. Of course I haven’t polled every member of the African American persuasion, but I know enough to know this to be true. I will admit however, that when this southern Black girl moved to Texas, I developed an affinity for pumpkin rolls. In every Black household, tomorrow’s meal will conclude with some sweet potato pie. That’s right, not pumpkin but sweet potato and yes, we will also have candied yams (loaded with sugar, syrup and butter). Side note: canned yams are not acceptable.
2-While we’re on the previous subject…we also do not eat green bean casserole. I’ve never attended a traditional Black family holiday that served such. Our primary sides are macaroni and cheese and collard greens. If we do have green beans, they’re prepared in a pot with some unidentifiable part of the pig, onions and seasoning.
3-Thanksgiving has always been a day of celebration. Its origination was out of celebration in the emergence of the Pilgrim and Native American cultures. Feel how you may about the Pilgrims, the “Indians”, Plymouth Rock and everything else but this has always been a day of thanks and giving.
4-Black Friday has absolutely no racist connotation. My youngest and I had a conversation a few days ago about why it’s called Black Friday. His thought, undoubtedly from the 5th grader on the bus, was that it was the day that all the black people went to Wal-Mart for TV’s because they couldn’t afford them any other time. As my friend put it in response to an idiot on a social network site “it’s the day retailers explode into the black after a season in the red.”
5-Most importantly, Thanksgiving is not just a time to eat and shop. It’s a time to fellowship with family and friends (who are usually like family). It’s a time to laugh, love and heal. It’s a time to forget about the drunk uncle, the imprisoned brother and the drop-out sister. It’s a time to ignore the loans we gave out and forego on the familial gossip. It’s a time to remember those gone on. I am especially reminded of this as my aunt, cousin and I sit beneath a picture of my grandmother and laugh in memory of her. It’s a time to forgive and forget (if only for that moment).
I am thankful for you for giving me the opportunity to share my words, my thought.