My first Thanksgiving with white people
November 16th, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and is a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com and the 2009 winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award for online journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @locs_n_laughs

I was told the substance in the glass casserole dish in front of me was potato salad - but I wasn’t buying it.

Why was it white?

Why was it smooth?

And where was the red stuff that goes on top?

It was 1998, and I was having my first Thanksgiving dinner with white people.

Now on the one hand going to his parents house for the holiday was a very good thing. I was in an interracial relationship and we had progressed to the point in which he felt comfortable doing so. But on other hand, I was a bit troubled when I walked through the door and didn’t smell greens cooking. Were we too early? Were they in the fridge?

As I was being introduced, I took a nice deep breath and...nope. Not a whiff of collards, or turnips or even the Tito Jackson of greens—mustard. For a moment I thought I had wandered into an episode of the Twilight Zone or maybe my mother had hired a witch doctor to put a hex on me because she was mad I wasn’t coming home.

I mean, it was Thanksgiving.

Who doesn’t cook greens on Thanksgiving?

It was a real eye-opening experience for me in that up to this point, I thought we had pretty much navigated across the sea of cultural differences between us. I taught him how to play spades, he taught me gin rummy, it was all good. But now there was this string bean casserole with dried up onions on my plate and a dish of naked potato salad in my face and I was beginning to think we wouldn’t make it.

It’s Thanksgiving. Why isn’t there any paprika on the potato salad? How come there isn’t any hot sauce out on the table? How come there’s nothing to put hot sauce on?

I was willing to do anything for love. But I wasn’t ready to do that.

Give up greens, and dressing and sweet potato pie.

I wasn’t ready to give up Thanksgiving.

I grew up in a household that if a particular aunt or uncle didn’t make their signature dish for the Thanksgiving festivities, the rest of us spent the rest of the day trying to figure out who they were mad at. We didn’t cook food just to eat. We cooked food to show love. It takes a lot of effort to make a dish of potato salad large enough to feed all of the mouths that would come together. It takes a lot of patience to pick all of those greens from the stem. And whoever volunteered to clean and cook a pot of “chitlins” had the biggest heart of all.

Had the kindest soul.

That’s what soul food is about. My family didn’t have a whole lot to give, but what we had plenty of was love and we poured that love, our soul into the food.

But the problem with the phrase “soul food” is that it insinuates no other kind of food has that soul, that care.

I knew it was good, but I wasn’t sure if it was made with the kind of love I had seen my family put into their food. How could I? My sphere was not very large, my worldview limited.

But as I’ve grown and had the chance to travel and become a citizen of the world, I realize that there’s a whole lot of people who are not black putting their whole heart and soul into their cooking. And it is good and it is delicious and it is full with a lot of love.

Looking back, that Thanksgiving Day was one of the most pivotal moments in my life. I had worked so hard to get into college and earn a scholarship, and yet I really didn’t know anything about people outside of my own experiences. Sure, I took classes and learned about people who weren’t black. I had been roommates with and worked with people who weren’t black. I was even dating someone who wasn’t black. But it wasn’t until I left my comfort zone and broke bread in someone else’s that I realized I was book smart, street wise but a little worldly dumb. And when I began to meet black people who didn't cook soul food and whites that did... well, let's just say some of the best lessons in life are not taught in school.

The potato salad - while still naked in my eyes - was pretty good. So was the pumpkin pie.

I’m not going to pretend as if I didn’t miss a lot of the smells and tastes of the Thanksgivings I was accustomed to. But I will say that if it wasn’t for that day, I might not be the adventurous eater that I am now. More importantly, it would have taken me a lot longer to understand the difference between accepting our differences and celebrating them.

And for that, I am forever thankful.

Submit your own "It's not Thanksgiving without..." story on iReport and catch up on past installments

Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more and these next two weeks, we invite you to dig in and discover the rich, ever-evolving taste of America in 2011. Catch up on past coverage and stay tuned for the live blog from our Secret Supper in Chicago on Wednesday night starting at 6:00 CT.



soundoff (2,159 Responses)
  1. Twosocks42

    Seems like people miss the main point. He flat out admits being Book Smart, Street wise and WORLD DUMB. He is talking about his limited perspectives and how this particular thanksgiving opened that up for him. Sure, many of the Caucasian people of the south eat the same dishes as their African American neighbors, but maybe he did not think about it.

    Either way, seems like people are splitting hairs over details, when the main point of the article is a nice one to think about.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • this guy

      News flash....I'm white and I've grown up eating all of the so called "soul food". I think southern food is a more approprate term. Not sure why everyone thinks only black people eat this type of food.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Reply
      • Factuality

        How are you going to tell a people what to call the dishes THEY prepare? If you eat the same thing they eat, then you're eating "soul food". You eat Chinese food, right? Do you go into a Chinese restaurant and ask them ehy do they call it Chinese food because you eat it too? Ridiculous.

        November 17, 2011 at 9:29 am | Reply
  2. Gino Goldfarb

    I agree with you Curtis, while you might be a little all over the place, I think we should get along more, and I think that money should be easier to get for people who need it. I think people who are starving and are hurting in this country (alot now) should not have to struggle so hard just to put food on the table. I think very wealthy people who can afford it should donate money so starving people can eat, and homeless people have a place to sleep at night. More shelters, soup kitchens could only help, and families that do have homes but cant afford food, should have an easier way to get that food. I think we can all agree with Curtis on that.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  3. DavidW0909

    It's rare when I enjoy one of Mr. Grandersons articles but he wrote a thoughtful column here. I'm white, married, and conservative but contrary to what peoples perceptions about people of my "ilk" I would welcome a gay black man into our home and my wife and I would treat them with respect and dignity and serve them a fine dinner for Thanksgiving and wouldn't give it a second thought. People need to embrace differences and learn acceptance. Maybe that doesn't make me a true conservative and it's true that all of my views are not but it does offer some level of proof that some people will treat people with respect and hospitality regardless of their political/sexual orientation/skin color because there are good people everywhere and really folks, that is what is most important. A Good Heart! Think about it!

    November 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  4. christøpherbøe

    I'm laughing my ass off... As a white gay man that lived in a few gettos - I would be soooo offended if I didn't think you were serious. There is a really cool grocery store in North Omaha who's food selection was so forign to me... Actually the entire store was a cultural experience. One entire isle of the grocery store was dedicated to black baby Jesus Dolls and velvet paintings... I went to a local resturant and the fat black woman behind the counter didn't give me silver-ware becuase I didn't look right in her mind. As a good homo, I taught her a lesson and loved going there - she really made some good sole food... She probably spit on my plate - I didn't see it. I also came to enjoy the diversity of the plate as well as the people. Kudos for a good article.... (oh and everyone knew you were gay... nice way to come out though).

    November 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  5. Chris

    if this article was called My first dinner with black people" the NAACP would have already had it removed. But alas im white and its okay to point that out but dont point out black people....thats racist and insensitive. Thats America though. We have to do what the minority says.

    November 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • stradivarious

      **Pulls out violin and starts playing **

      Somebody please hand this person a hanky?

      November 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Reply
      • christøpherbøe

        LOL - I'm afraid to think what that hanky might look like.

        November 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Brad

      Well you must have missed all of the commentary that Bill O'Reilly had to say the first time he experienced a soul food restaurant with Al Sharpton. Lighten up.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • Factuality

      Why don't you try and see what happens. But, make sure the spirit of your article is written in the same way LZ Granderson written his/hers.

      November 17, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  6. SirLancelot

    I call bullcrap.

    Black people stopped eating "soul food" back in 1992 with the advent of hyper-consumerism and the widespread fast foodism.

    nice try.

    November 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • miriam l wright

      SirLancelot – Would you mind listing the specific "soul food" that everyone allegedly gave up in 1992? I know there will be fresh collard greens (cooked with bacon) on my Thanksgiving table.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply
    • yup yup yup

      WTH?

      November 17, 2011 at 8:17 am | Reply
  7. PleasePeople

    People People!

    We are all of us racist.

    Let us no longer argue about who among us are more racist than whom else.

    Let us instead channel all our combined racism into a strong force of nationism for
    nuking the frig out of China and Iran.

    Ok?

    November 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  8. Jo Jones

    I find it funny that what I will assume are white folks getting all sensitive. Its so funny because I don't think you all really understand how different our worlds are. It doesn't make one better but the fact of the matter is... I'm was confused at age 8 when I went to Jewish girls bday party and they served Apple Pie. I had never seen an apple pie before this moment. We had apple cobbler once in a blue moon but my dessert dictionary consisted of sweet potato pie, sock it too me cake, red velvet cake, pound cake, etc. For bdays Grandma always made a poundcake with homemake icing..... I have non black friends who have never tasted greens and swear up and down its the same as Kale.....I love the article and how LZ tells us at the end that this experience opened his eyes. Great way to start the article and get your point across. I've been around the world but there is nothing like a Holiday where American Black Women are in the kitchen.....Just Facts

    November 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • articledescribessouth,notwhite

      You obviously did not read Karen's comments... um, I think she's Black, and did not like the article. And you're implying that only Black women cook on Thanksgiving with your comment. You may not mean it that way, but you are missing the point of the criticism of the article. White southern folks cook the same food. It's southern cultural menu that is shared by southern folks of any race ...Just facts.

      November 16, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  9. Karen

    This article is so tiresome. While I applaud your attempt to expand your limited views of Causasians, your ability to realize that there is more than one culture for Black people is still in its infancy. My family is Caribbean and we never cook greens or any other soul food, but we certainly put our hearts in our cooking. Painting all black peole with one brush just smacks of your limited and self-centered American naval-gazing. And it reinforces White America's erroneous view that all Black people have the same values, music, culture and religion and have the same ignorant viewpoints.

    November 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Reply
    • Charles

      The majority of black folks in the United States are descended from slaves (i.e. those who toiled on plantations in the United States)–and do tend to prepare festive fare (i.e. holiday food) in very similar ways...Just FYI...

      November 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      Did you stop reading as soon as he said "Where's the greens?"

      Because your criticisms are directly addressed towards the end of the article. "And when I began to meet black people who didn't cook soul food and whites that did... well, let's just say some of the best lessons in life are not taught in school."

      The article itself is a bit trite but at least make sure your criticisms are valid before you comment.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • karrie pittsburgh

      Thank goodness I'm a white woman who was raised to not care about a person's color/race/ethjnicity. And thank goodness, I was also raised to not judge all Caribbeans by one Caribbean's 'hide behind the monitor and be omnipotent and snarky' comment. Jeepers...

      November 17, 2011 at 6:37 am | Reply
    • Factuality

      Karen, you are wearing that stereotypical cape of having the desire to differ yourself in the eyes of Whites from the "bad" Blacks in America. If Whites use a "broad brush" to paint "all Blacks" it is not because of this article. They have brains, don't they?If you place such a high importance of what Whites think of you as a Black person, I suggest you rethink who is the true high Being in this universe.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  10. iminim

    Hey LZ, collards for Thanksgiving are OK as long as they have been touched by frost, but you really need them (with ham & blackeyed peas) on New Year's Day. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from all cultures & food heritages!!

    November 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • ForReal

      Aren't black-eyed peas good luck on New Year's Day...or something?

      November 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  11. MaggieMoo

    I definitely don't see this article as rasist...just kinda obvious. That's great that he's welcome to embracing the differences among different cultures, but really, he didn't realize other families ate different food? For example, I had never heard of green bean casserole until college, people thought it was weird that my family had mac and cheese for thanksgiving, and we completely defied tradition by having ice cream for dessert instead of pie. OMG! Can I get paid to write an article about it?

    November 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • MaggieMoo

      *racist.

      November 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  12. articledescribessouth,notwhite

    This article describes a southerner going to a north of the Mason Dixon line dinner. Not a "white" thanksgiving. The author is totally off base assuming race. The use of blaming the color of skin for a dinner menu is inflammatory, even if she does have a positive outcome in the experience. The author could have pointed out cultural differences without bring up a hot button issue. Where I grew up (NJ), I don't think you could even BUY collard greens when I was a kid. Never had them until I was an adult. Besides, I have white friends who are southern who grew up eating collard greens and sweet potato pie. Oh, and not all whites have potato salad for Thanksgiving – geez, the huge mound of mashed potatoes is enough. Cultural and simple geographical differences, not skin color, change the menu of Thanksgiving.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • ForReal

      LoL @ you for assuming the writer was a 'she' for having a boyfriend. Read more carefully next time before you wall of text us. Have a nice day!

      November 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
      • articledescribessouth,notwhite

        true, read the article, not the authors' name... my bad. Not meant to offend. Thanks for pointing it out on the wall.

        November 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Reply
      • marcus

        Yes, but I think he is the girl in this deal......

        November 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • Amy Lee Parker

      I don't care if the OP is male or female. He or she is way off base to assume that only black people eat certain foods. I am as white as they come. But the family that was described in this could have been mine. We have our greens, cornbread, and all that was mentioned on the holidays. If someone doesn't make a certain dish, uh oh! somebody is in the dog house!!

      The meal mentioned did sound more like a Southern meal than a black/white meal.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Reply
      • Factuality

        Where did the author of this article state that ALL Blacks cook like his/her family and ALL Whites cook the way the White family he /she were visiting cook?

        November 17, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
  13. Head

    I am from East Texas and I think that you must have eaten with the wrong "white" person. We have greens, sweet potato pie, corn bread along with potato salad and green bean casserole and homemade stuffing. I think maybe someone was lazy that day.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
    • Jo Jones

      Stuffing...LOL why dont you check with your black friends and find out the translation. I love how non black folk get all sensitive when facts are stated. Its a cute article and as a black professional I chuckled when I saw the title because I know exactly what he is talking about. Its the same when a white person finds out that a black woman wearing a weave ...that... that isn't her real hair.. Culture Shock...same for us Thanksgiving without Greens and Paprika.....

      November 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  14. Lukozade

    Even the southerners are forced to admit that General Lee was one-quarter chinaman, when faced with the facts.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  15. Jazz

    we put paprika on our potato salad. I thought that's what everyone does? shoot last year my mother accidently used the hot paprika and it was SPICY! we always have very unconventional holiday dinners. This year is going to be pumpkin/turkey chilli. Some old recipe that my dad found. One year we had Indian food.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  16. Dood

    As a white, southern dude, I'd rather spend Thanksgiving at LZ's family's home, too! Living in north Texas now, I miss good old, Deep South cooking.

    Good write up, LZ.

    November 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Yumyum

      Dood, you too would be welcome at my Thanksgiving table! A southern feast for sure! (Black southern belle from NC)

      November 17, 2011 at 9:11 am | Reply
  17. Kay

    And this is racist – how? I don't get it – I sense warm appreciation of a different culture from the author. Reminds me of a Thanksgiving story my husband tells. Probably his favorite Thanksgiving ever. He was new to Chicago and didn't know anyone. A co-worker kindly invited him to his house for dinner. He took the train to a black neighborhood on the south side and had to walk to their house through some rough parts, not sure of where he was going. When he got to the door and knocked, the man who answered had an apprehensive look on his face. There is a long history of racism in Chicago, so this man had every reason to think that a strange white guy showing up at his door couldn't be good. He relaxed as soon as he realized my husband had been invited, and the family warmly welcomed their guest. Now, my husband hates all of the traditional Thanksgiving food, but if he is a guest at someone's house, he will eat every bit of food put in front of him, even if it kills him. He couldn't place the strong aroma wafting through the house – until the food was put before him. The family grinned and watched him expectantly as he took his first bites of chitlins. He said there was no amount of hot sauce in the entire world that could have covered up the taste, so he did his best to swallow it whole without ever letting it touch teeth or tongue. But the expression on his face was unmistakable, and the family got a great laugh as he ate all that was on his plate. They assured him that it was an aquired taste. But he has never forgotten that Thanksgiving and that family and how they welcomed a stranger into their home on that cold, snowy evening – and how they delighted in his misery!

    November 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • Dan M.

      It's because some people are too dumb to understand the difference between 'racial' and 'racist'.

      November 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  18. Lou50

    well when he said he walked in and didn't smell them cooking unless he was 8 hours early he doesn't have a clue. the fact there was no hot sauce proves he was up north and he is really clueless and doesn't get out much. But then he doesn't understand why women were put on this earth and that proves my point!

    November 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Opinions welcome - Leave your bigotry at the door

      Dear Lou50,
      Open your mind, or shut your mouth. Those are your options.

      Sincerely,
      The Rest of Humanity

      November 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  19. NDM

    Wow! The comments on this article are quite fascinating to say the least. Personally I think the article was well stated and I don't have a prejudice bone in my body. I think it simply comes down to people not wanting to open up and look at the full picture. We have all traveled or would like to travel around the world and interact with different cultures. If I had the opportunity to celebrate any holiday with someone from a different cultural background than my own, I would count it as a privilege.....and yes I would blog about the experience. I think that's where we as people fall short, taking things out of context and not being open to reading/hearing about others experience without making RACE being the underlying issue. I wish EVERYONE a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    November 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  20. cmh

    My family is mostly of Mexican descent, but we have many relatives who are of various ethnic and socio-cultural backgrounds, so our Thanksgivings are always quite eclectic and full of all kinds of surprises. One year someone even brought 2 dozen Jack In The Box tacos! It was pretty hilarious, but hey - they were a hit with the kids. LOL!

    November 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      I don't know why, but that reminded me of the fact that my mom would stuff her giant purse with a bunch of McDonald's cheeseburgers to sneak in to the movies.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • AFWife

      It sounds like your family is blessed with diversity and sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!

      November 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  21. Jim

    Sounds to me like you were supposed to make the greens, and everyone was probably wondering who you were unhappy at that you didn't!

    That is, you came from a family where many people had a signature dish which your family had embraced as "required" for Thanksgiving, and if that person didn't make it, everyone went without. So where was your own signature dish and why didn't you bring it with you?

    November 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      I know, right? Who shows up to Thanksgiving empty-handed and complains about the food?

      November 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
      • Deb

        You'd be surprised.

        November 17, 2011 at 8:34 am | Reply
  22. sharon

    I remember the culture shock of Christmas in North Dakota, with lefse and lutefisk. I was a newlywed and anxious to please my Norwegian ma-in-law, but this was just too much! I am half Spanish and white–just more of a gag factor than I could take at 18 years old!

    November 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • jean

      Lefse with butter and sugar? I can do without the lutefisk...unless it's drowned in butter.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  23. JohnSmith

    Would someone please pass the pigs feet and Micky's?

    November 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  24. SparkelFarkel

    turnip greens, mac n cheese, my mother's oyster dressing

    November 16, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  25. MarlboroMan

    I think any time a person is fortunate enough to share a meal with ANYONE who is kind to them, they have been blessed.

    November 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  26. Elder Crow

    I JUST farted after reading the article . Sorry guys !

    November 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  27. Ashley

    Kind of ironic don't you think that some of you on this blog say that blacks are the first ones to throw out the racism card HOWEVER, race was negatively brought up FIRST by some of the white commenters. SHOCKING!!! And before some of you want to say, "oh well the blacks have black universities, black history month, black this and black that, lets get the FACTS straight, what happened prior to those things being implemented to MAKE us have to do those things? Could it be WHITE ONLY universities, or WHITE ONLY clubs, or how about how the inventions and contributions of white people were taught all year long but the contributions of blacks were ignored as if they didn't exist! When in reality, this country was built on the backs and contributions of black inventors! Forget the ipad, where would we all be without the contributions of blacks WHEN they contributed it, not waiting another 100 years for a white to invent it. So please spare us the melo-drama about how we're the ones that always throw the race card and how we're the ones that make it hard on ourselves because it's gotten really old and it's really pathetic! Some of you don't have the courage to walk a day in the shoes of a black person and if you did, it would probably blow your mind to see and experience FIRST HAND what we as a people have to go through. That was to all of those that took the article completely out of context and couldn't wait to get on here and sound off about something that the artice said absolutely nothing about! Now those of you that I'm referring to can excuse yourselves from your computers, put your sheets back on your heads, and go to your meetings covered in the safety of darkness, like the cowards you are! To everyone else, have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!!

    November 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      you know, that last sentence sounded a little passive-aggressive to me. I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      i am sorry but i do not like to be referred to as "white people" i am a PERSON just like everyone else

      November 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Goddog

      Ummm... The main plot device is based on race in this article. What are we supposed to respond to? He obviously knew what he was trying to achieve from the beginning? He was trying to point out his own prejudices but I think he is making the whole thing up. We, as Americans, all races, know what the "typical" American Thanksgiving basically consists of. If he didn't, he was just dumb. lol.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      oh no, don't call him "white person"! That's racist! Gee people, stop taking everything so dang personally. I am not talking about the original poster. But seriously, if the most racist thing against white people that we can come up with is this stupid article about Thanksgiving food, then we officially have no problems. Get over it WHITE PEOPLE. Yeah, I said it.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  28. ann

    It doesn't have to be different cultures for you to find differences in Thanksgiving fare. My in-laws and my family have totally different takes on Thanksgiving. Some of which are good and some of which you have to have grown up eating it to like it. That is why I consider my husband and I as having different family cultures (which applies to more than food). We each have different ways of handling the same type of events.

    November 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Beth

      Going home for Thanksgiving means going out to eat and paying for my older lazy sisters to have a free meal. They wouldn't cook anything if you begged. So instead I have my own nice traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my own family. Even though we were raised in the same house – totally different takes on the holiday.

      November 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  29. TwoCents

    What's more racist then celebrating a holiday that was ment to cover up the horrible genocide that the Europeans brought upon the Native Americans in the 1600's?

    November 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Nivlag

      LOL. Good point.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      um no actually, Thanksgiving was just an end of harvest feast. Like they have all over the world since the dawn of time. It has nothing to do with Native American relations.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Books are friends, try reading one about History before you open your trap.

        Nivlag – THIS is a good point. Not that other one.

        Ay yi yi... where do these people even come from?
        (Rhetorical; please don't answer, I don't really care.)

        November 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        WOW.....I am not sure how you made it out of elementary school without learning that THANKSGIVING has EVERYTHING to do with relations between Native Americans and Pilgrims.....I urge you to read up on it...

        November 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
      • Ethan

        What is a "native american" anyway? you think what we call "native americans " today didn't take the land from someone else at some point? Hellooooo! This is how the world works. You take what you can from who you can. And America would have been better off if we let them keep "their" land? Just like the descendants of slaves would have been better off if their ancestors were never brought over from africa? Get real.

        November 17, 2011 at 2:46 am | Reply
    • Ethan

      What does any of this have to do with the injuns? THey got what they wanted, nice reservations to live on with their own kind, ownership of a bunch of casinos, and lots of booze. Life is good. .

      November 17, 2011 at 2:37 am | Reply
  30. Goddog

    Someday those European and Asian chefs will be as good as all those famous African chefs... someday. LOL.

    Thanksgiving is different from family to family regardless of race. I think you're being disingenuous with the innocent ignorance you portray in this story. If you grew up in America I'm sure you had quite a variety of different foods before that day. If you ever went to a grocery store or watched TV during the holidays you knew what to expect. Or maybe you were just an idiot back then too. haha.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      yeah I have to agree....there is no way he made it to adulthood without being aware that Americans in general eat turkey, stuffing, mashed, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie on TG. It's in every movie, commercial, mag ad, etc. He's full of tish.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  31. Jeff

    Why is everyone so negative about a fun little article?? It is not racist to talk about race!

    November 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • Jeffrey

      Well, I guess we will be labeled as well according to some of the previous comments but I agree with you completely Jeff. It was far too easy to complain about this article without really hearing or understanding what it was about. It made complete sense to me.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  32. FrugalShopper

    We are all missing the most important thing here:

    The Terrorists hate us because of Thanksgiving and Want to Kill us because of Thanksgiving.

    That and that black people call it "Thangs-giving" not "Thanksgiving".

    November 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Joyce

      I find this whole article disturbing and RACIST , REVERSE racism, and I am not even white. Lets stop patRoniziNg one another. PERIOD.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
      • sockpuppet

        but you're not black either, right?

        November 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • Freedom

      It's true! black people call it "Thangs-Giving"! Listen carefully!

      Two different holidays celebrated on the same day! Secrets are being revealed.

      November 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  33. Delta@steve

    Wow. Pure, unvarnished, absolute trolling.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  34. Gigi

    I think you can say the same thing going from where I was born, Pennsylvania, to where I live now in Texas. The meal I cook is different then from what I grew up on. Cornbread dressing now as opposed to bread dressing. Deviled eggs (not sure why) and sometimes, a fried turkey. I think it's based on tradition and what part of the country you live in. I bet you in Hawaii vs. Alaska its differnent. as well.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  35. Logan

    Good Evening,

    I have a superior intellect and an extremely comparatively high IQ. Recenlt I had the (mis)fortune of attending a THanksgiving dinner with a family of average IQ.

    Needless to say it was a rather boring time, the conversation was as dull as a pair of kindergarten scissors, and I felt like strangling my fellow guests.

    But I did learn one thing: If you get over your boredom and learn to manipulate these intellectually inferior people, you can have a grand old time.

    Cheers,
    Logan

    November 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Truth@Logan

      Wow!
      Pompous arrogant azz much?

      November 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      I'll bet they didn't even serve greens!

      November 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  36. Johnjon

    I'd trade anyone's Thanksgiving dinner, black or white for the awful Christmas eve dinner I have to endure every year at my partner's mother's home. Everything is from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, and it all tastes like crap. Give me greens, potato salad without paprika, sweet potato pie, anything but the over priced B.S. from Neiman Marcus.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Tha Chikin

      You poor thing... got two words for you: HONEYBAKED HAM. Either that or fake a sickness and order turkey dinner with all the trimmings from your local grocery store.

      November 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  37. Steve O.

    First time I ate food at a white person's house I was 10 I think and my friend's mom gave me a mushroom cream soup. I almost vomit. Coming from Haiti I had never had mushrooms before, never even saw one. My friend could see I was struggling and that seemed to amuse him a lot. He kept telling me I could stop eating if I didn't like it. Believe me I wanted to but his mom was sitting with us at the table and she loved me so much, I did not want her to feel insulted so I ate it all. As soon as I put down my spoon, she screamed at her son: "I told you he would eat it all. I know my Steve. Come here, let me give you a big kiss, she said as she turned to me. Now let's go in Jack's room and give you something he loves."
    Turned out she had a bet with her son that I would finish my bowl. See, because he hated her mushroom soup he thought I would hate it too. What he didn't know, insulting a mom's cooking is something black kids just never do. He learned the hard way by losing his Falcon (star wars han solo's ship). The kid was a brother to me, it was hard to see him beg and I would have been fine with his Blue GI Joe truck but she insisted on the Falcon and you know us black kids and our moms... we can't say no to them :)

    November 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  38. Tha Chikin

    Ahh... greens. Every time I have had them, they weren't that good and just can't understand what all the fuss is about. First time I tried them, I was 12... of course at that age, anything that wasn't slathered in cheese was esentially "dog food". I will keep giving them a whirl though... one of these days I am bound to find someone who is a wiz at making greens.

    Still... there are plenty of white people that make greens on Thanksgiving here in the South including many other things slathered in fat back, criscoed ham bone, bacon greasy goodness (thank GAWD Thanksgiving only comes around once a year). I guess it simply depends on who you are chowing down with. That said... I hope Mom takes it easy on the super sized tub of butter she has reserved for Thursday next week. UG!

    November 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Sweetenedtea

      Try malt vinegar on your greens. It accentuates the taste without adding lots of fat.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  39. Greg

    I don't agree with this author all of the time but this a great article. I'll admit I am a white guy (and not ashamed of it or guilty from it, thank you). One thing that we have lost in all of the racial/racist arguments is the ability for one group to have a bit of fun with another's culture. If I showed up to a black family's Thanksgiving and they had 'collards' on the stove, they would probably laugh at my reaction and I'd probably laugh at theirs and I'd try some 'collards'. (I haven't a clue what 'collards' are...) In other words, we would enjoy each others company. The problem is is we bring up a 'difference' between white and black, then it's a racial comment. It's unfortunate that we all can't relish the similarities and differences in cultures and actually appreciate it.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  40. Chuckman97

    This was a great article, but can only be appreciated if you have experienced it from both sides....remember A Christmas Story when they had Chinese Christmas?

    November 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • drb

      I want to do that soooooooo much....but can't get the rest of the (boring) family on board!!

      November 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • drb

      But I have spent Christmas in Hawaii...and we didn't eat turkey or lamb or roast beef!! Best Christmas I have ever had!

      November 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  41. sjc

    I'm white, and I didn't think this article was racist! I found it fascinating. I am sure somewhere in the back of my mind I "knew" that different people/cultures/races had different ideas of what was eaten for Thanksgiving, but this article really put it into perspective for me. I am from Texas, and our traditional Thanksgiving meal includes (but not limited too!): turkey, dressing- the homemade kind, not boxed, fresh cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, corn casserole, broccoli casserole, rolls from scratch, sweet potato casserole, salad, and of course, desserts beyond belief. Pies, cake, fudge, breads, etc.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      followed by massive diarrhea and/or constipation...sorry just had to say it. joking. lol.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Tha Chikin

      I haven't had home made dressing since my Grandmother passed away almost 20 years ago. I am TOTALLY coming over to your HOUSE!!!!!!

      November 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      do you guys eat everything in casserole form? It's sort of like having to puree everything for babies. You guys must need everything cut up into bite sied pieces and thrown in a big pile

      November 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  42. Mark

    my first thanksgiving dinner with black people was healthy kfc and mcdonnald's...soul food they called it. i say it wasn't like my mom's thanksgiving dinner, but heck it was food, so we thanked god and i never thought of writing a strange article about it called "my first thanksgiving dinner with black people", which i'm sure many would find offense, since not all black people eat the same things. this is why the author of this article is ignorant and foolish.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Joyce

      You kind of missed the author's point! He's showing how he may have been prejudice when going in to his partner's family home and only after he was exposed to a different cultural experience, he realizes, "hey, it's not bad at all". It's this ability to be open minded that allows our society to progress. Don't be so negative.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • Beth@Joyce

        Well-said. Thank you!

        November 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  43. Don

    What a great story about tolerance and growth.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  44. Drake

    Lol, wonder what a thanksgiving dinner would be like with "black people" in south africa for the imbecile that wrote this pointlessly racist article. I can tell you one thing, I bet a dinner with white people from the south, east, north, or of European decent like polish, italian, greek, spanish, would all look a little different. You can't just label them all into one category of "having dinner with white people" was such as such....lol what a truly ignorant article. The guy that wrote this is right up there with soladad obrian etc for me in terms of racism. Why does CNN pay these people to stir up resist feelings.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • Nevyn

      Clearly you didn't read or severely misread the article in question.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
      • Amy Lee Parker

        Then some many of us must have made the same mistake!? Because I and many others read it the same way.

        I have had Thanksgiving with my family, friends family(white and black), an on a cruise ship outside the U.S. White, Black, Blue or Green everyone has different food traditions for the holidays. No one food type is labeled under a person's skin color. But that is just what this OP has done. That is the problem people seem to have with this. The OP has labeled certain food to certain racist.

        November 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • Foxnewsworthy

      Amen brother. And let me say that if anyone here is as tired of this CNN racism day in and day out as we are,
      then join us in switching the channel to a channel like FOX news that at least has the decency to present a more careful and studied approach to these sensitive issues.

      Vote with your clickers everybody!

      November 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      "You can't just label them all into one category of "having dinner with white people" was such as such.."

      That's EXACTLY what he says in the article. It's him relating a day in his life where he learned a different way to celebrate Thanksgiving. And realizing it had nothing to do with race.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • QM

      You do realize Thanksgiving is a North American holiday and therefore they don't celebrate it in South Africa or Europe you daft moron. And you call someone else racist? You are a moron.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  45. gordon

    I just think that your all crazy . and that guy is going to hell and let me say obama needs to go there to

    November 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Mel

      OOOOOH look at you getting that political, racist comment in there! How clever you must feel!

      November 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • Don

      That is really a close-minded comment that is totally uncalled for.

      November 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  46. fitz

    This is the DUMBEST article I have ever read. In fact, I fould it to be SO dumb, that I had to comment to let you know. I mean honestly. "Dinner with white people"? How is that even relavent...journalism these days...

    November 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  47. *points to crotch*

    I'm not touching the tone of this piece, instead I'll just point out that Mr.Granderson needs to hire an editor.

    It makes me wonder how one manages to land a job writing for CNN with work like that?

    November 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • ls1z28chris

      Affirmative action.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
      • *points to crotch*

        probably 100% true, unfortunately.

        November 16, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  48. Hannibal Lecter

    I had some black folks for Thanksgiving once...they were a little stringy and not terribly tasty. Fava beans helped

    November 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  49. studdmuffins

    I had Thanksgiving with black people once... I was in the service. It was nice and they were very polite.

    This passes for journalism only because this guy is gay.

    November 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  50. JNessmith

    Where's the column about a white man having dinner with black people?!

    November 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
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