Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

The History Of Thanksgiving

2The Holiday Season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is a special day to enjoy with family and friends. It welcomes the transition from Fall to Winter and the marvels it brings. A time of joy and hope! I have said many times “nothing is as it seems,” as the truth or true history is never told or taught with regard to what really happen or how it is that we celebrate most holidays. Therefore, as we enjoy the graciously prepared food on this day; think about the real history of Thanksgiving.

Let’s go back in time. It was in September 1620 when a tiny ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers of an assorted cast of religious separatists or as we might call them today – religious zealots. They set out seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith with individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World.

The journey across the Atlantic was treacherous and an uncomfortable crossing that lasted sixty-six days before they dropped anchor near Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. After about a month, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth. They saw that there were no fences, so the thought the land was theirs for the taking, and they did just that – took it.

The first winter was brutal causing most of the colonists to remain on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy, and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first spring in the so-called new world. It wasn’t until spring that the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian, who greeted them in English. Shortly after that, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe.  Squanto had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition.

Squanto was the person who taught the Pilgrims, who were starving and sick, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. This is the beginning of what is now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”; although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term, at the time, history reports that the festival lasted three days.

As you can imagine, there is no record of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

What most people don’t know it that after that Thanksgiving was not celebrated each year, rather it was a celebration had after a major victory resulting from a battle in a war. It was not until the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln did the holiday become a national holiday celebrated each year. Today as with all holidays, it has become an economic extension of capitalism. In spite of its history, I wish you and yours a safe and blessed day. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


This Is What They Want You To Be Thankful For!

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A Day of Thanks and Giving

11Thanksgiving is a season that should be for reflection on successes, challenges, and life’s many blessings. As I reflect on the year that was, I am thankful that I woke up this morning, and you should be too. I cannot understand, and dare I say believe that we live in a country once known as the breadbasket of the world; yet we see and witness so much hunger in the land. Our government in an attempt to camouflage the impact of this suffering has created a new phrase – “Food Insecurity.” SHOCKING!!!

I am one who firmly believes that giving of yourself to the benefit of others is humanities greatest gift. Being a benevolent spirit, I have experienced my share of mountains, milestones, and valleys. Also, my generosity has sometimes been viewed as a weakness, which I am pleased to say that it has not turned my heart into stone. To that point, my heart requires the blessings and the reward of giving. However, what I have learned is that you don’t give to those who want your help, rather to those who need your help!

LAW AND ORDER THEME! Now, that brings me to Thanksgiving!

In the supposed richest nation in the world, we live in a nation of rampant hunger, homelessness, and despair. The Bible tells us that when Jesus faced such challenges, in one case, he took two fish and a loaf of bread and fed his legion of his followers. There are many churches, community group, and non-profits that are desperately modeled on the tradition of giving trying to meet the needs of many, and I applauded them for their compassion. But our government would rather support the greedy than the needy. We have enough bombs to destroy the entire universe, yet most of the planet is starving or as they might say suffer from “Food Insecurity.”

It was almost fifty years ago, when then President Johnson, declared a “War on Poverty” and today there is more poverty than ever. Why? I think it’s important to note that you don’t have to be on the streets to be struggling with hunger and yes, despair. If the rich who have all the advantages are struggling with this crisis; how do you think the least of thee is fairing? I must ask, where is the mercy and compassion for humanity?

Let’s forget about the notion that America really cares because we witnessed just a few years ago a major city drowned and the country consciously watched. Of course, our government will find and send billion to “help” any other nation on the planet. But my question is; if you opened your heart to help another soul during this so-called special day, what will you do on Friday and in the days that follow. Does it, make you feel good, to do this good deed on this so-called holiday or is it like Sunday when you go to church and leave the message there until next week?

The whole concept of Thanksgiving is a misnomer – it is a commercial event. The origins began in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebration in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions.

Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country. Historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

So, like I said, let’s forget about those views and look at your neighbors, community, or in the mirror and realize that it is an issue, crisis, that affects mankind, real people, human beings, and yes, children. Thanksgiving should not be a day created for parades, football, and self. You might also want to consider that next year it might be you facing homelessness and hunger.

Lastly, an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. So let’s make this day one of being thankful and giving. Just remember that you were born to become a blessing: BE ONE!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Thanksgiving

2The history of America is littered with crimes against many nations and the people on its stolen land; from the massacres of the Native American’s under the guise of “Manifest Destiny” to the enslavement of people of African American descent. On a day that has nothing to do with being thankful, rather an economic celebration of one of America’s earliest crimes derived from one of history’s biggest lies. However, I am thankful to be alive but living for most black and poor people is a life very different from those of privilege!

This day should be rooted and derived from something like the Sermon on the Mount since America proclaims to be a Christian nation. It was said in that sermon that the first will be last, and the last will be first. It was also mentioned something about the least of thee. With regard to black people’s oppression and the near weekly murders at the hands of the police, we have been first at last for a long time and the least of thee. As we witness the uprisings across the nation and dare, I say around the world. The time is ripe to expose wrongs and make them right.

We hear the common mantra that this is a nation of laws to which they neglect to add that those laws were written for and by white people for the benefit of white people etched in and established by the Constitution. What I see, as a product of the 1960s, is that “we remain a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality and treated as such!” In short this means black people’s lives are of no value.

Just a little historical perspective here; we know black people and men, in particular, were lynched throughout the history of America. However, it was one particular incident in 1955 with the murder of Emmitt Till that sparked a revolution [Civil Rights Movement] that changed the world and improved the lives of every black person thereafter. In addition, the people of that day who had the courage to rise up against the system of injustice were young people. In fact, Dr. King was only in his mid-twenties.

Other more militant groups emerged when young people realized prayer and peacefully begging for the most basic human rights did not work nor has it ever. The system, police, and government destroyed those organizations except those whites control, which is most. I knew people, then as I see now, who says everything is fine, and there is no reason to express outwardly outrage. I’ll tell you why; silent is a more destructive force imposed on the mind of the hopeless and feeds the systemic oppression that will continue.

Fast forward to today with the murder of another child [17 years old] shot instantly without a chance. However, Mick Brown’s death has galvanized people like nothing since the murder of Emmitt Till. I admire the young people for standing up, rising up, and organizing against the travesties of police killings. They organize, today, much like the did in the 1960s against government sanctioned and the license for what they call “righteous kills” and abuses never any accountability.

I am thankful today that we have video cameras and that no long can they cover up killings, like they tried to do in Chicago. No longer can they tell people anything or half of the truths and expect the lies to be believed as truth or accepted. The protesters today are not your father’s protesters – these are the children born the philosophy of Malcolm X, Stokely, Rap Brown, and some with a little of Nat Turner in their blood. Not that of Martin or the organizations of the big six who sang “We Shall Overcome” more than fifty years ago because this generation sees that “We Have Not Overcome”!

As you celebrate this day, that pays homage to terrorism, which represent the slaughter of millions of the native people that continue. Stop for a moment and say, “enough is enough” of the terror inflicted upon black people and say this murderous assault upon our people and children must stop. Or next time it could be you or your child. Take a stand and remember what Nat Turner said minutes before he was hung – “They Crucified Jesus didn’t they”.

So let me wish each of you a Happy Savage Day and say what I am thankful for today is that this generation’s devotion and willingness to seek justice by any means necessary and yes I know Black Lives Matter! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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Marissa Alexander Freed

breaking newsFor the first time in a long while there is good news out of Florida!!! Marissa Alexander the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a “warning shot” during an argument with her abusive husband has been released on bond while she awaits retrial under a controversial part of the state’s self-defense law. What a wonderful holiday gift!

The case of Marissa Alexander, who was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, touched off a furor when her supporters compared it to the self-defense case of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted earlier this year of murdering an unarmed black teenager. Some have compared these two cases and the law as simply “black and white. Whereas, no one was injured in Alexander’s case, the court gave her a 20-year prison sentence under the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines because she had fired a gun during the assault.

A state appeals court ruled in September that Alexander, who is black, deserved a new trial because the judge failed to properly instruct the Jacksonville, Fla., jury about her self-defense argument. She was convicted in May 2012. “This news is vindication for Marissa and all the women who have become criminalized for exercising their basic right to defend themselves and their children,” Angie Nixon of Florida New Majority, a social justice organization, said of Alexander’s release.

The case drew criticism from civil rights groups concerned about self-defense laws and mandatory minimum sentencing rules, but it received little attention outside north Florida until the Zimmerman case. Zimmerman was arrested for killing Trayvon Martin in 2012 and was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in July 2013.

Under the so-called “Stand Your Ground” clause added to Florida’s self-defense law in 2005, people who use deadly force to defend themselves from serious injury – rather than retreating to avoid confrontation – can be immune from prosecution. Zimmerman never sought immunity under “Stand Your Ground,” instead relying on a standard self-defense law. Alexander’s “Stand Your Ground” claim was rejected because she left the house during the confrontation to retrieve a gun from her car, returning to fire a shot near her husband Rico Gray’s head.

A slightly built woman who stands 5 feet 2 inches, Alexander said her 245-pound husband was about to attack her when she fired into a kitchen wall during the August 2010 incident. He had previously been convicted of domestic violence for attacking her. Prosecutors said the shot endangered Gray. At the time, Alexander had an active restraining order against her husband and she carried a concealed weapons permit.

Source: CBS News


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