Study: My Understanding of

The Real Thanksgiving Story and How People Celebrate the Day

Good food and other activities mark the celebration of Thanksgiving day yearly by most white Americans. This day is looked upon by Native Americans differently from how white Americans look at it. Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks to many Native Americans but for others, they look at this day as a day of mourning and remembrance.

In order for us to understand this difference, we need to go back to what really happened on the first Thanksgiving day.

When we first learned the story of Thanksgiving in school, we looked upon it as a wonderful day of thanking the Lord for the abundant harvest that they were given, thanks to the Native Americans who taught the pilgrims how to plant in order to survive. So when harvest time came and there was abundance, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated and the pilgrims and Native Americans ate a feast together.

But this is not the real story of the first Thanksgiving. When most Native Americans had died of the plague, the pilgrims settled at Plymouth. Squanto, the Native American who had helped the pilgrims previously, was made into a slave. Soon, the pilgrims and their descendants made Native Americans their slaves, killing, persecuting and robbing them over the next few centuries.

And so, for Native Americans, the first Thanksgiving makes them remember a violent past while the white Americans celebrate plentiful harvest on the day.

Over time, however, the holiday has changed. People still tell the story of the first Thanksgiving day but most celebrations today simply center on family, food, and gratitude. Read on here if you want to learn about the history and traditions of Thanksgiving.

And because of the way it is being celebrated today, there are many Native Americans who do celebrate this day. Thanksgiving for them gives them a chance to continue a heritage of helping people in need. But there are some who look at the resilience of their people and the fact that they have survived the oppression.

Although many schools still teach children the story of the first Thanksgiving and even celebrate the day, many anti-racist organizations want schools to be more aware of the true history of the day. They encourage teachers to provide more accurate information about the culture of the native Americans.

If you are white, you can simply ignore this painful past. But you can celebrate this day by talking to your family about what the first Thanksgiving meant to both the pilgrims and the Native Americans. Native Americans cannot just simply ignore the past.

While many Native Americans find Thanksgiving as an opportunity to remember their heritage and give thanks for life, others see it as a painful remembrance of a great period of suffering and oppression.

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