Changing the Narrative Around “Thanksgiving” in my Family.

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Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

Why don’t I know more about Native American History?

There is so much history I NEVER LEARNED.

I’m no historian, but there’s Google, documentaries, books, and other resources I can tap into.

One thing for sure, I will acknowledge and honor Native Americans history, which includes mourning the unnecessary deaths of people who were forced off their land.

This year has been WILD, and if there’s one thing I’ve most definitely learned, is that I NEED to be even more intentional. So, this is the perfect year to officially start changing my mindset and focusing on what “Thanksgiving” means to me.

Much of the country will likely continue to celebrate Thanksgivings false past and never acknowledge the truth behind the Holiday. I hope I’m wrong, but in the meantime, what I can control is what I do in my own home.

I’m starting with renaming “Thanksgiving” to “Family Day.” We’ve changed 4th of July to Family Day as well. It may sound unnecessary to you, but it really does help you refocus on what’s important. The one thing I do love about these holiday’s is spending time with my family and friends.

On Family Day in November, we will spend time in nature, appreciating Mother Earth, meditating, and really focusing on giving glory to God. I’ve read probably 50+ articles so far on the topic of Thanksgiving and there’s one by Sean Sherman that I thought was insightful and a great starting point for me personally.

To be honest, I’m starting with the basics. I’m just starting to dig into understanding when and why did we ever start celebrating Thanksgiving? What’s the truth behind the whole feast and how were Indigenous People involved? So far, my research is shining a light on all the false information that was shoved down our throats in school. This is why it’s important to do your own research. As 33-year-old Black women, I know this to be true in everything. We (Black People) have been lied on, lied to, and been made to be “the bad ones” all the time, so RESEARCH IS EVERYTHING. Black people have a rich history that also hasn’t been taught in schools, so I know Indigenous people’ history is rich as well, and I’m determined to soak in as much information as possible.

Moving forward, on November’s Family Day, my focus will be on my loved ones and nature. Acknowledging that no matter where I am in North America, I am on Indigenous land, PERIOD. Prayer, reflection, native foods, educating myself on Native American History, and giving back to the community (volunteer or donate to a cause that will directly affect Indigenous People) is a must.

Old Rage Trailhead – Picture by Me!

The day will be spent giving thanks. By that, I mean really focusing on gratitude, not just for the one minute during prayer before stuffing ourselves with way too much food.

The focus must shift.

How are you planning to change your mind set about Thanksgiving this year?

Until Next Time…




The Author

Awesome! Alysha January is the Marketing Manager from the Historic Charles Street Association and co-owner of Busheler's of Baltimore. She is an activist who is very passionate about creating equality, inclusion, and diversity throughout the community. She created a blog and instagram account called Discover Charm City to highlight Baltimore’s small businesses, local food scene, and her personal life-style. Alysha wants to show others how to live, work, and play in Baltimore and beyond. Alysha also host women empowerment events she calls, Gap Pal Events. She invites women to come connect with other women from the community in a safe open environment.

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