The First Thanksgiving: A Conversation on the History
The Social Justice and Anti-Racism Commission is hosting two Zoom discussions as a way to deepen your understanding of the history of Thanksgiving in ways that you may not have learned before now.
The Episcopal Church, through its Becoming Beloved Community vision, frames a path for addressing racial injustice and reconciliation in order to live out our Baptismal vows “to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2021 occurs on Thursday, November 25. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies, meant to commemorate alliance and abundance.
The Wampanoag people do not share in the popular reverence for the traditional New England Thanksgiving, however, since peace between the Native Americans and settlers lasted only one generation, ending in betrayal and conflict. Since 1970, many native people have gathered at the statue of Massasoit in Plymouth, Massachusetts each Thanksgiving Day to remember their ancestors and the strength of the Wampanoag.
To prepare for the discussion, you can view the following short videos from the PBS series We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower. YouTube links can be found below. The series is comprised of 8 segments and each one runs about 10 minutes. We have also provided a link to a Smithsonian Magazine article titled “The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue.”
These materials provide background to the history of Thanksgiving. Whether you have time to review all of the material, or parts of it, please join us for an enlightening discussion of Thanksgiving on Tuesday, November 16 at Noon or at 7 pm.
Smithsonian Magazine: The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue
PBS Series After the Mayflower: We Will Remain. Each of these is about 10 minutes
Tags: Social Justice