3 Ways to Venerate the Ancestors this Thanksgiving

Many black people (especially millennials) have a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving. Caught between the crossfire’s of the holidays murderous conception and the beauty of family coming together, several people have chosen to “Stay Woke” enough to resentfully attend the family gathering, while simultaneously posting memes in distaste of the holiday. Being black in America and celebrating Thanksgiving is much like being stopped by the police. You know the officer means well but there’s a certain level of fear associated with the blue lights flashing, based on the history of police brutality. Well this year, since most have Thanksgiving off work anyway, let’s use it as a way to incorporate our own African Traditions into the Holiday. Here are 3 ways to make Thanksgiving more in line with the celebrations we practiced before European enslavement. 1. Cook the foods of your ancestors. Doing this not only welcomes their spirit, but also provides an opportunity to practice the African tradition of giving offerings and reverence to those that came before you. 2. Teach the children about the family history. Use this day as an opportunity to educate the children. In African tradition, stories, parables, and history were pasted down orally from one generation to the next. Use Thanksgiving to pull out the family tree, or even make one. Talk about the immediate ancestors to the children and share any stories you have or know. 3. Dance and sing songs that your ancestors enjoyed. In the Christian faith it is said that when you sing, you pray twice. Instead of huddling around the television, how about you pull out the songs and dances of your ancestors. Use this as a time to welcome their spirit and celebrate their guidance. Traditionally, we have all been taught lies about the conception of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Columbus Day, and the list goes on. However, in modern times with accurate knowledge readily available we can begin to reeducate ourselves and our youth to the truth and beauty of our African culture. I mean why not? You have the day off anyway.]]>

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