What's Buzzing on Campus?
Turkey Day Not For Everybody..or Is It?
By: George Chapman
Thanksgiving, a time of reflection and remembrance can mean something different for each student on campus. For some freshman, it’s the first time that they have seen their parents since move in day, for others it’s the time to go home and eat the well deserved meal that Blackburn doesn’t always supply, and then there are some students who stay on campus because they never celebrate America’s favorite holiday. For the students who were not raised in the land of the free, the November tradition may be as unfamiliar as your grandmother’s egg nog.
In public school, the story of the first thanksgiving is explained like one of Dr. Seuss’ original children’s tales. When Christopher Columbus stumbled upon America, the Native Americans, Columbus, and his boat load of crew ate together as one, symbolizing the first thanksgiving. Sadly, some aspects of history uncovered that the first thanksgiving wasn’t as joyous as first portrayed. On his reasons for not celebrating thanksgiving, freshman, broadcast journalism major, and Memphis native, Robert Seymour expressed, “Thanksgiving is a pagan holiday! The story we have all been told as kids is bull! We should all know now that when Christopher Columbus came to America he was not friends with the Indians, there was no great feast, like they basically took their stuff, and they ate to celebrate what they did.” He continued on to say, “Black people turned the idea of thanksgiving into something completely different from its real meaning, it has become a holiday where we give thanks for each other, and being grateful for what god has given us.”
David Jackson, freshman, film production major, and Bronx, New York native, chimed in “Yeah I don’t think anybody celebrates it in that case. I think black people have changed it so much where it’s become a celebration of family, and life, and enjoying each other’s company.” Many other students like freshman, Bianca Garwood, commented, “Who doesn’t celebrate thanksgiving? I don’t think people celebrate thanksgiving for its true meaning, but I think people use it as a time to show thanks and gratitude for whatever it is they are thankful for, and for that I think everybody should celebrate thanksgiving.”
On his thanksgiving activities Robert explained, “I may not have a traditional thanksgiving, but some aspects of the holiday I do hold on to.” He continued, “Being away from home this year won’t be any different from past years, being on campus, I probably will hang out with friends and go out and have fun, maybe go out to eat at night.”
Needless to say thanksgiving has become a favorite holiday for many and the freedom to celebrate it or not is optional. In many areas of the country the rush to get the perfect turkey has already began, and for others the race will never start. Despite the beliefs of the individual the students on Howard’s campus seem to unanimously agree that whatever it is they decide to do it will be surrounding their family and friends. The traditional story of thanksgiving seems to no longer be relevant, but rather it has become what you make it.