Thanksgiving is observed each year in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. This year, Thanksgiving is celebrated on Nov. 22 in remembrance of the Pilgrims who left England to escape religious persecution and in order to give thanks for their bounty and good fortunes once they settled in America.
When I think of Thanksgiving Day, I think of family, gathered around a table that groans with turkey and dressing, green beans and candied yams, mac and cheese or whipped potatoes, and lots of other goodies. I look forward to seeing folks I haven't seen in a while, savor the food and fellowship, bring in the late evening over coffee and pie. Nobody is rushing out to go shopping – most people save that for the Friday after Thanksgiving, often called, Black Friday, because many stores find themselves in the black after the profligate shopping that day.
Millions of Black American families observed Thanksgiving this week. We have much to be thankful and grateful for. Yet we should also be cognizant of the challenges and struggles that lie ahead in the pathway to future economic empowerment and social sustainability not only in America, but throughout a changing world. This is a time for reflection, self-assessment, self-improvement, and collective development and progress.
Thanksgiving Day is upon us. But not all people will be in a celebratory mood. If you're homeless, this time of year conjures up pain and despair. You're living on the brink with little assurance, if any at all, that life will begin anew unless there is government or public assistance.
In an interview with Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now," our dear brother, Dr. Cornel West, said that while he's happy that Mitt Romney didn't win the presidential election, our foreign policy is still imperialistic, politicians should be ashamed of spending billions on campaigns while people are living in poverty, and that President Barack Obama is nothing but a "Rockefeller Republican in blackface.
Last year, when my favorite bookstore closed its doors forever, I actually sat in the car and shed a tear. Not as many tears when the record store closed. And I haven't even stepped foot into a brick and mortar travel agency in more than 10 years. But, has anyone noticed that these once stable sources for browsing, longing and dreaming have gone by the wayside?