Information taken from the 2021-22 Cultural Awareness Guide - Cultures, Communities & Inclusion at the Dean of Students Office
Thanksgiving Day in the United States is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year as a federal holiday. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for all the sacrifice and hard work done for the harvest. Today, many people often take time off work (4 day weekend starting Thursday) and spend time with family and friends over a large feast held on Thanksgiving Day. Georgia State students do not have class during the week of Thanksgiving, and the university is closed on Thanksgiving Day and the day thereafter except for emergency services.
Some Native Americans and many others take issue with how the traditional Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.
Here are a few interesting articles on the subject:
- The Redefining Of American Holidays & Traditions – Thanksgiving
- Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
- Social Programming; The Truth about Thanksgiving and Black Friday
- Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is also celebrated in other countries. Canada celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Liberia celebrates the day on the first Thursday of November and Saint Lucia the first Monday in October, and Grenada celebrates on October 25th each year.