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I remember that my first Thanksgiving in this country was celebrated in a
gas station in New Jersey, eating a turkey sandwich with a can of ginger ale.
Of course, that didn’t mean anything to me – neither the food nor the
holiday. I was not from this country, this culture, this history. Later on, I
understood that Thanksgiving was one of the most important family holidays
in this country, especially because it was the only day I got the whole day
off from my three jobs. But with the years, and with my new adventures in
life and understanding of this society, I was told at school and through books
that Thanksgiving was an important tradition in this country because it
commemorated and represented the meal of friendship between “pilgrims”
and “Indians”.
This historical relationship of friendship and reciprocity between “pilgrims”
and “Indians” over which a whole tradition has been built, has to be
demystified. Traditions change every year because they are elements of
culture, and culture is the result of people’s agreements and practices. In
this context, re-learning the history of this celebration by recognizing the
narrative of the many Native Americans that have historically been pushed
out of many families’ tables is a necessary practice. In a world that claims
justice for all, the history from the voices of those who have been largely
excluded is urgent to start hearing. To support you all in starting this
process, I would like to invite you to watch this short clip called “The
Forgotten Slavery of our Ancestors”.

This coming Thursday many families in this country will sit down around
their tables ready to celebrate one more Thanksgiving Day. Like it is the
tradition every year, food will be prepared along with the drinks and desserts
that bring curiosity and impatience of those who might be ready to enjoy the
fest. Although this year traveling is a major issue for extended families who
have congregated in past years to celebrate Thanksgiving, but to some
extent, we will remain connected and be thankful for the people we have,
but most important for the memories that we can preserve.
-Marco Yunga Tacuri