Wonder Woman is deep in the heart of preparing turkey and all the fixings. Here is a little article I thought very interesting which serves as a good reminder about giving thanks, preparing for Kwanzaa and coming together after so much turmoil lately. Especially now we need to rededicate ourselves to the idea of community and what we can do united as one people.
Please do take time to read the Reverend’s words as they are so meaningful RIGHT NOW more than ever.
From the blog of Lisa Vox, African-American History Guide
Thanksgiving and African-American History
Monday November 22, 2010
Thanksgiving may be a national holiday today, but originally it was a “Yankee” holiday. As New Englanders migrated to other areas of the country, they took the holiday with them, spreading it south and west.
President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 during the Civil War to promote national unity. Thanksgiving had already spread, but white Southerners still tended to see it as a Yankee holiday, especially after Lincoln’s proclamation.
So, after the Civil War, many white Southerners celebrated Thanksgiving on their own schedule or forwent the holiday altogether. Meanwhile, African Americans in the South embraced Thanksgiving, celebrating it along with the rest of the nation.
African-American pastor, Alexander Crummell, used the occasion of Thanksgiving in 1875 to deliver a powerful sermon, “The Social Principle Among a People and Its Bearing on Their Progress and Development.” Crummell argued that it was the duty of himself and his congregation to reflect on racial progress on Thanksgiving Day, urging that “[i]t is peculiarly a duty at this time when there is evidently an ebb-tide of indifference in the country, with regard to our race; and when the anxiety for union neutralizes the interest in the black man. . . .”
It was not until the opening decade of the 20th century that white Southerners fully adopted the holiday as well. By the time President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill permanently placing Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, it had been incorporated as a holiday celebrating family into the lives of most Americans.
Excerpt Taken from:
Rev. Alexander Crummell’s
“The Social Principle among a People and Its Bearing on Their Progress and Development.”
For the text in its entirety:
“. . . I see nought in the future but that we shall be scattered like chaff before the wind before the organized labor of the land, the great power of capital, and the tremendous tide of emigration, unless, as a people, we fall back upon the might and mastery which come from the combination of forces and the principle of industrial co-operation. Most of your political agitation is but wind and vanity. What this race needs in this country is POWER the forces that may be felt. And that comes from character, and character is the product of religion, intelligence, virtue, family order, superiority, wealth, and the show of industrial forces. THESE ARE FORCES WHICH WE DO NOT POSSESS. We are the only class which, as a class, IN THIS COUNTRY, IS WANTING IN THESE GRAND ELEMENTS. The very first effort of the colored people should be to lay hold of them; and then they will take such root in this American soil that only the convulsive upheaving of the judgement-day can throw them out! And therefore I close, as I began, with the admonitory tones of the text. God grant they may be heeded at least by YOU who form this congregation, in your sacred work here, and in all your other relations: .They helped every one his neighbor, and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the soldering; and he fastened it with nails, that it SHOULD NOT BE MOVED!.”