Every year, more Americans opt out of celebrating Thanksgiving. Others heavily consider it. Maybe it’s because they don’t have friends and family to share the holiday with, or simply don’t want to share the holiday with the friends and family they have. Maybe it has something to do with the myth of Pilgrims giving thanks to “Indians” for helping them grow their first crop for the harvest, and reconciling that with the truth about the genocide of Indigenous peoples on this land by those settlers. But we don’t have to reject the holiday completely. We can, and should, decolonize and reinterpret it.
This tale that the new settlers held a dinner after the harvest to thank the native peoples has been told to generations who have uncritically accepted it. By now, Americans should know that this version of the occasion told in school plays and history books is nothing more than the patriotic indoctrination that is the foundation of our education system.
Read the entire column at www.yesmagazine.org and in the November/December issue of ONYX Magazine.