Thursday, November 22, 2007

Abe and the Honest Turkey

For those of you who cook for Thanksgiving, but are also a tad conflicted about all this colonial plenty, give a listen to my Thanksgiving commentary for WAMU. I call it "Abe and the Honest Turkey." It has something to do with Thanksgiving, but owing back to a more recent time -- and perhaps a time more similar to the current one.

My friend Donald was kind enough to send me a link to a speech from Wampsutta (also known as Frank James), an elder of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe. It was this tribe that was allegedly invited to the original Thanksgiving dinner. Many people believe that it was more likely that the Indians provided the food, but were not allowed to sit down to eat with the Pilgrims. It was normal practice of that time for colonists to sell Indians into slavery in Europe, so this lack of hospitality -- on the part of the white man -- would not have been surprising. Wampsutta recounts what happened to the Wampanoag at that time and since. He made this speech in 1970.

It is not surprising that many Native Americans regard this holiday as the Day of Mourning.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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