Mixed Feelings About “Thanksgiving”

Acknowledging the oppressions of indigenous communities, participating in Black Friday boycotts and all, this Thanksgiving feels different to me. Family time, yes, but what is Thanksgiving anyways? I read up a bit and at the root of it is incredible violence. I encourage you to read up on it…I’m still trying to find the balance between celebrating and remembering and not perpetuating the historical oppression of indigenous communities.

An email from my profe, Dr. Oliva-Alvarado:

This is a powerful documentary / reenactment of the story of the Massasoit people who had initially welcomed the English / American colonists.

According to the them (and American historians) the first thanksgiving was not on Plymouth rock, but occurred after the subjection of the Massasoit people (through the betrayal by a neighboring tribe who allied themselves with the colonists). The outcome was that the son (Phillip) of the Chief was captured, dismembered, and beheaded.

The Chief’s son’s head was put on a stake and left on display for two decades within the pilgrims’ settlement, while his little brother, only 9 years old on the day he was captured, was enslaved.

View the last section of the capture and beheading of Chief Massasoit’s son and the pilgrims’ thanksgiving dinner that evolved from the celebration and display of his beheading.




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