Tag Archives: tradition

Thanksgiving’s a Black Man’s Holiday

CLIVE: Thanksgiving’s a black man’s holiday, bet you didn’t know.
ANTHONY: I, uh, no, I wasn’t aware.
CLIVE: 1863, Lincoln says to himself “This country done ripped in two, we need something bring us together, make us thankful we was almost in two but we not, we hanging by a thread, one thread, that’s still good. So he thinks on it and he says the whole land, everyone up in here, is invited to celebrate Thanksgiving. If the Indians and the pilgrims can do it, so can we, right? I mean think of all the foods Thanksgiving got? Those are stone cold New England it’s cold and about to get colder foods. And the black man—

On October 3, 1963, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln released a proclamation making the last Thursday of November a national holiday; a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” He did it at the prompting of writer Sarah Josepha Hale, who had been advocating for it to be a national holiday for 17 years. Before 1963, Thanksgiving was not widely celebrated outside of New England, and even there each state celebrated at a different time.

Highlight from the Thanksgiving Proclamation:

It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gracious gifts of the Most High God] should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

Read the complete text of the Thanksgiving Proclamation here.

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I’ll Ask to Be the Pilgrim Next Year

FRAN: I’ll ask to be a Pilgrim next year so I can wear that dress: the Pilgrim dress.
NICOLE: I don’t wanna wear a friggin dress. How many times are we gonna do this same stupid thing over and over:  the pilgrims come, the Indians put fish in the ground to grow the corn, the Pilgrims are happy—
FRAN: Thankful.
NICOLE: Who cares? If I have to be in this same play over and over every year til I die wearing a dress made out of black construction paper please kill me now before Thanksgiving comes again.

Yup, a standard-issue Thanksgiving Pageant…

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Where’s the Birds Made Out of Hands?

GLORIA: Katie showed me her Thanksgiving project and there’s stuff on it about the kind of soil you need to grow corn and which way Haddock swims off Cape Cod and I’m thinking: where’s the birds made out of hands like you used to bring home from school—
FRAN: It’s a different kind of school, Ma.

Thanksgiving arts & crafts…

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Thanksgiving dioramas…

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A Thanksgiving Tree of Gratitude

FRAN: Maybe we even all, we each all even write down what this day means, what we’re really Thankful for—
GLORIA: I’m not writing anything my spelling’s no good.
FRAN: We each write what we’re thankful for and after dinner we say it, we read it all out loud like we write it on paper leaves—
ANTHONY: Paper leaves?
GLORIA: Your Katie’s smart, she’d know if I messed up a word.

 

A how-to on a kid friendly Thanksgiving Hand Tree, via kinderart.com.

And a more Chestnut Hill style version, via katiedayphoto.com.

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