For some people, Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of gratitude topped off with a delicious spread of food. From turkey prepared multiple ways, to appetizing sides such as dressing, baked macaroni and cheese, and green beans, to dessert options like sweet potato pie or banana pudding. This national holiday is celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well. However, many Native people do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims & other European settlers, because it marked the beginnings of their cultural genocide.
For them, the fourth Thursday of November is their day of protest known as the National Day of Mourning. The National Day of Mourning isn't just an American protest, it's a global one. This day is a reminder of all the injustices indigenous people have had to endure at the hands of colonizers and White supremacy. It is a remembrance of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the erasure of Native cultures. Participants in the National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. The goal is to educate Americans about history.
BlackRoots Alliance fights for the liberation of all Black people. We understand oppression, genocide, erasure, racism, and injustice. Some of our issues and fights mirror those being fought by our Native American comrades. We’re committed to recognizing, dismantling, and eradicating White Supremacy and all the systems born from it. We strive to reimagine a world where equity exists for the most marginalized of groups. Knowing this history and struggle, we have decided to support and honor the National Day of Mourning. BlackRoots Alliance will only recognize the fourth Thursday of November by this name. We encourage all of our partners, allies, and supporters to take this act of defiance and view it as an opportunity of solidarity. If you feel compelled to take your action a step further, reflect on how you can support organizations dedicated to Native American rights such as Chi-Nations Youth Council. This local group was created in 2012 and comprises a diverse group of youth and adults, with a mission to create a supportive, open environment for Native Youth, raise awareness of cultural identity, and promote a healthy lifestyle through arts, activism, and education.