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.
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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.
I grew up in the northeast and have lived in places like Miami, Mississippi and New England. Everywhere I've lived food is a staple of the culture and it is fascinating to learn other people's traditions. I make black beans and rice, Cuban pork, empanadas and tres leches. I also make black-eyed peas and greens for New Year's. My son loves catfish. My husband's family is from China and Sunday brunch is now often dim sum. When my mom first moved to Mississippi with me we went out for Thanksgiving dinner and she freaked out that the dressing was made of cornbread and the pie was sweet potato instead of pumpkin. She never adjusted to the food being "wrong". Embrace the opportunity to try new things and broaden your experience.
I've got you all beat. My story is not black and white but North and South. My family (North) made everything from scratch the day of thanksgiving, so when you walked in the house you smelled the turkey, etc. My southern halfs thanksgiving consisted of all the food being made 3 1/2 hours away a week before and driven up the day before thanksgiving. When it was time to eat a tupperware was opened (cold) and set on the table, a can of green beans opened, and maybe a hash brown casserole. What ever didn't get eaten was carried from relatives house to relatives house the remainder of the weekend. I must say I would rather eat up North.
I thought it was just my ex-in-laws who did that (southern)!!
This sounds more like a northern/southern difference than a black /white difference. My SO who is from the south eats greens and sweet potato pie. While I am from the north and don't. My potato salad is not smooth. Why do we always assume it is a difference between black and white? Why can't we find the real cause of the differences between people? It's just too easy to blame color in this country.
" 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." And that's exactly what the author is saying. :-)
Absolutely!!! I loved this! My experience was a Southern/Polish one!
Another great article LZ...love your work. This made me laugh out loud.......Ally sumed it up well.....enough said !
So is the author of this article suggesting that white people don’t put the heart and soul into their cooking? How shallow is this guy? Why was he open about dating a white girl but not able to embrace her differences? BTW collard greens SUCK! -
No, he's actually saying that this experience opened his eyes to traditions that were different than the ones he grew up with. And that it was a wonderful experience.
Not enough bacon grease. That's what makes them good.
Jen, he was dating a white GUY.
It appears that Jen's reading comprehension skills are lacking!!
Jen, did you actually read the article? Please go back to grade school before you try to stick your 2 cents anywhere....idiot!
Jen dear...........the author is gay. He was honored by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. While reading comprehension was not a focus in your high school / college studies, perhaps you should be a bit more careful with your opinions. it is obvious that he was writing from his own experiences and offered a comparison. Nicely written and pretty easy to follow......then again there is that whole reading comprehension thing..........
I've never like the traditional thanksgiving of Turkey, and stuffing. My husband is the cook and we usually make egg rolls. We're white without a hint of Asian blood. Our kids love it and we have a system where our daughter rolls and our son supervisors.
Another racist black; yes, I know – blacks aren't racist or bigoted or biased, are they? BS
Pretty clear this person has no idea what Thanksgiving is all about. Maybe racism is the only word this person has in their vocabulary as she 'begins' college. This is pretty late in life to know there are people out there who have lives different than yours. I really feel sorry for this guy and would like to have a status report one year after they get married, if they get married.
"she" ???? what article are you reading ????
RocketJL...let's just hope they CAN get married :-)
Aside from a rather inflammatory title designed to get pepole to read the article; there is nothing racist about it. Unless you think discovering new and different traditions and enjoying them is wrong....
He is also gay...so a black gay racist?!
I don't think this guy is racis .but I had a Mexican Gay Racist neighbor once. It can happen.
Daniel, that is so not true. Black people are not racist. It is the white once that let us black believe that they are our 'friends' / GF or BF and thereafter talk the greatest nonsense behind our back. I know!!! Black people are very nice people giving a lot or showing kindness without excepting many. At a point when it doesn't suit you white once any longer you cheat your way out of whatever the relation was to be.
I must add, I don't know whose loss it is: white or black.
I'm pretty sure racism isn't confined to any particular race. Nor is ignorance, obviously.
My husband is Puerto Rican and I ove our Thanksgivings full of foods from my childhood in Virginia and his on the island!
I thought this piece was sort of fun. I had a similar experience at work yesterday, listening to some black ladies talking about their holiday dishes. They plan on making greens, and chitlins, and using lots of hot sauce. It made me smile to think that there are people in this country who celebrate the holiday with something besides my mom's wiggly cranberry sauce and dried-out turkey.
I enjoyed the article and why get offended? I'm a white guy and haven't ever had Thanksgiving with a black family but I am sure I'd enjoy it and all the different foods to try. We live in the USA folks, there are dozens of different cultures that all have their own traditions. Embrace the diversity, don't hate it!!
First, I'd like to say that I enjoyed the article and how the author talked about how this dinner helped him to see past some of his preconcieved ideas and broaden his perspectives, but I'd like to say, and I know he made very brief mention of this, that there are white people that cook they way he is decribing as black. Maybe it's a southern thing, but growing up, and still to this day, my family and I make our potato salad just the way he described – chunky and with plenty of paprika on top. My family grew and cooked all kinds of greens too. And as for hot sauce, that's a staple in our kitchen. Most of the other people I know where I live, white or black, cook like this.
To all of you crying about the article:
All I see is a bunch of people (most likely white) who are mad that someone of a different race dared to write an article calling their holiday traditions "strange". Well, guess what; your traditions are strange to some people. If you were to celebrate Thanksgiving with a family from China, I'm positive that you would find something in there to call weird. Stop acting so hurt that someone was willing to stand up & point out certain racial differences. He didn't perpetuate any myths, he didn't insult them, he just wrote honestly about a case of holiday culture shock in a mature manner. It's a shame some people on here aren't able to do likewise.
Thanksgiving in China? When exactly did they adopt that Holiday?
Thanksgiving with a family FROM china.
Reading is fundamental.
I am from India and have never been to an American (black/white/brown/southern/northern) Thanksgiving dinner. I welcome my American friends to join us for dinner on Thanksgiving although please be aware that there'll be no turkey or beans or any of the items listed in the articles/comments. What you will find is friends sitting on a table, chatting, laughing and enjoying time together irrespective of the culture they belong to on a nice holiday in Florida. And there'll be beer, wine, margaritas ...lots of it.
Most of the whites on here are not offended about the observations of the author ... pick on the white traditions, thats fine, we are just getting sick and tired of the double standard in this country. A White person could not write this article about dinner with a black family without the NAACP and Al Sharpton denouncing them as racist bigots! As light-hearted as the author intended the article, it serves to underscore how minorities can speak their mind whenever they feel like it, but if whites do it they are somehow evil .... Its a tedious time to be white.
What is there to get angry about reading this article? It's about traditions with your family and the fact that the food is all part of it. I don't get mad when my yankee co-worker brings her dressing to the work dinner and it's all chunky and not smooth. I'm a white southern girl and turnip greens are served at any big family meal. I have to agree, potatoe salad is suposed to be yellow, not smooth and should have paprika on top. I like pumpkin pie over sweet potato...sweet potatoes need to be candied with brown sugar, pecans and marshmellow. Buttermilk, pecan, lemon, chocolate and pumpkin pies are neccessities at my family Thanksgiving. Yum!
Gee, sorry I didnt serve fried chicken and watermelon with Kool-aid or Boon's to wash it down.
Way to stay classy with the racist stereotypes. It never fails. And in a minute he/she will say she's not racist.
I come from an Italian home and every Holiday we had some sort of pasta or something with tomato sauce on it.
Gnocchi is the favorite.
I come from a strictly Italian-American background and for the first 8 or 9 years of my life just assumed that the Pilgrims had ravioli as the first course before turkey. Didn't everyone?
I will admit that the title caught my attention and I was expecting this to be a rude artical about how white people cook. On reading this I realized it was nothing about race it was about FOOD. I grew up on "soul food" also known as southern cooking. I still cook it for my own family to this day. My Thanksgiving table will have collards with ham hock in it, potato salad which is yellow in color not white, topped with eggs and paprika, sweet potato casserole, chicken and pastry, fried corn bread and many other foods that I'm sure half of you have never heard of. I will also be serving sweet ice tea with my meal. The author was telling a story about the culture difference in all people not just black and white. If I had gone to this same house I would have been thinking the same thing, though I would have been the rude white girl asking where these items were and probably would have offered to go get it and make it for them. I would bet most of you that find this article to be racist are not from the south and if you are, you were never served nor have eaten a true southern meal. In my house food and family go together. The women are all in the kitchen talking, laughing and cooking. We teach our daughters how to fix the same dishes so when they have families of their own they also can prepare the same meals that generations before them have served. I took the point of this article to be when people are removed from their comfort zone it is hard to mentally handle the changes. And this person learned a huge life lesson about their self and opened their eyes to the world around them.
I'm a northern white boy, and I think I'm supposed to say, "Well bless your heart, Darlin'." at this point.
Same here. I was in my 20's before I realized that some people think of greens, fried chicken, black-eyed peas, etc as "black". I grew up eating them along with my whole (lily white) family. I thought this was a fun article about finding out that other people do things differently at holidays and it works out OK.
I didn't even know there were differences in "white" food and "black" food. I guess my parents failed the white race by raising me with black friends, black neighbors and black food. Good for them. Another reason mine are the best parents in the world.
holy yum!!! oooooooohhhhh girl!!! pass the greens and i have dibs on a big ol' chunk o' hamhock!!! what a feast! :) :) :)
I come from a racially mixed background (black/Cherokee mother) (black/Scottish father) & food is a lot of fun at our house. My mother cooks the southern way with enough food at Thanksgiving to feed a battalion, even if there are only going to be 6-8 people at the table. I loved this article because it made me laugh at my own family and all of our missed backgrounds. Yes potato salad at my house is chunky yellow, with paprika on top, sweet potato pie (no pumpkin) & sweet tea.
can i come over for dinner?
@j, I would LOVE for you to come over and have a meal with me!
If this article isn't about race, but rather food, perhaps he shouldn't have brought race into it. Perhaps the title should have been "My first traditional Thanksgiving dinner," or my first "Northern Thanksgiving Dinner," etc.
I have cooked the meal for my large family for quite a few years, and this boys and girls is perfection Northern Yankee-style:
Wine, cheese and crudite platter luring them in on time and keeping them the heck out of my way in the kitchen.
Wine, turkey, stuffing, gravy, yams topped with toasted marshmellows, corn pudding, green bean casserole, rice/broccoli/cheese casserole, cranberry sauce still in can shape, black olives, apple cider served icy cold.
Wine, and anything goes for dessert, I am partial to cheesecake, red velvet cupcakes (yes, Southern!) and blueberry pie ala mode. Regular guests included an Asian family, the mom gets really mad because she brings a platter of homemade spring rolls for part of the dinner and everyone gobbles them down as appetizers unless she hides them. Did I mention wine? And Trivial Pursuit for those up to it afterwards.
And I totally agree after seeing a video on how chitlins are made, you gotta really love your family to make them for them. Brutal.
Good grief, I think some people here clicked on the article *hoping* it would make them mad. Funny too how most of the angry comments I'm reading seem to be coming from males. I live with someone like that...so eager to feel trampled upon, disenfranchised, whining that they don't get special treatment anymore... Sorry white boys, you actually have to get along with and hear about people different from you now. They're everywhere, and they aren't going away.
I don't know where the anger is coming from, it must be the "No-bama's"
"Sorry white boys, you actually have to get along with and hear about people different from you now"
Funny, considering blacks cant even get along with themselves and end up killing each other in the process.
Hey maybe they will kill you by accident cause you are STUPID :-)
LOL doubtful...any nig that tries to kill me will have a .44 Magnum round through their head
Wow Nig, so tough through the internet. I'd bet you're probably some scrawny internet geek living in mommy's basement who gets trampled on in real life and so feels he has to act like a real bad@$$ through the net. Try to get out more, maybe meet a girl (if you even like them). You've probably never even seen a gun other than in your computer games.
Daayuuum! You are so right!
I had thanksgiving with a black family once....all that was there was popeyes fried chicken, watermelon and kool aid
Ah ..........ignorant uneducated Meh the name is Nig Lover. I do not have to be black to love black people and southern cooking. I do not have to black to see you are a fool. A suker is still a sukah by any other name IDIOT!!!
And, you felt right at home, didn't you "passer"? LOL
you know, hopefully, they wrote this article to get people chatting about their family traditions. obviously, it didn't work for some of you. maybe instead of writing or saying hateful, hurtful things in public, it's better to keep it to yourself so only you and god know how ugly you can be.
lol your "god" can lick my taint
Isn't that sweet. You are trying to shock people with your posts. That's adorable. Just like you were an adult.
Did you mother go out shopping and forget to log off the computer?
I am sooo shocked at your shocking posts. You are truly a shocking person. Now go help you mother with the groceries.
One time I had dinner with black people and the food was really good.
wow, some of the people on here need to take a breath and calm down. the fact is, all of us are different whether it is our race, our religion or location, whatever. embrace the differences and learn from them. i was married to a man from south jersey and i learned to eat cheese steaks with the best bread ever and he learned to eat greens and chicken fried steak. i work for a jewish company, i have black friends and hispanic friends and indian friends and they are all different about some things. hell, i'm from east texas and i get teased all the time about the way i say things. lighten up
People who have a problem with this article are just narrow minded and would serve themselves better if they became citizens of te world like this woman. We all grow up in cocoons of our culture, if we're fortunate enough like the writer we get outside of that cocoon and realize that most people are not that different. This happened to me when I joined the military and had to live with different people from different cultures. The people who have a problem with herpoint which they obviously fdon;t get are always looking for issues to attribute to racism. Fortunatelty they seem to be outnumbered in these post.
CNN is always stroking the race thing.
They would never print a headline that says "My first Thanksgiving with black people."
Everyday CNN has so many stories about race, racists, and white people who are racists.
CNN has a fetish for racism. Whether it's Granderson, Soledad O'Brien, or Sanchez, they can't report on anything other than race. This network is so racist.
It's because CNN is headquartered in Atlanta. Go figure...
more racist trash.
I wait for white history month. or my kwaanza with black people.
I read the article and care not what the message is. We live in a worl d in which judging a book by it's cover is a neccesary skill to filter through to what interests us. CNN should be ashamed. Imagine the uproar when a national media syndicate publishes nexts weeks trivial article "Christmas With Black People."
Its differences when a black person writes it, but it would be racism at CNN if a white person wrote this. CNN is race baiting again.
Most people here have completely misread and misunderstood Granderson's essay. He is writing about his own perceived sense of being sheltered from other people's habits and social and cultural norms on a major holiday, and admitting that to us. Why ANY one would misinterpret his essay is baffling to me. He is not racist. He is pointing out that HE had preconceived ideas about Thanksgiving meals, and was learning by visiting his partner's home for that meal that he was very clueless about what other people traditionally prepared. He saw that as a learning experience. Those of you who are accusing him of racism are wrong to do so. He is being very open and honest about how different we are, and accepting that his own expectations were, in many ways, a huge shift in his own experiences as a person. Why the insults to him? Many of you will apparently never be able to laugh at your own biases as he does about his own. He has a sense of humor at his own expense, which is a great way to communicate, and I am so sad that so many of you don't understand that.
That doesn't matter one bit what his intentions for the article were. There is no denying that, if this were a white columnist reporting on a "black" whatever, there would be hell to pay, no matter what the article was about.
You're an idiot and your response proves it! There have been a million and one articles about whites and their experiences with blacks. If you are that damn concerned, write an article yourself. This is one man talking about his experience. How is it race baiting? I actually appreciate that he shares the fact that he was not as well versed in other cultures as he thought he was and that this was a good experience for him. The PROBLEM WITH WHITE PEOPLE is that they assume that they are culturally diverse but never take an active step to prove that theory. Many of YOU ARE NOT. Im so sick of white people crying the race card claiming blacks are playing the race card. GET OVER YOURSELVES!
There have been a million and one articles about whites and their experiences with blacks"
Please cite these "million and one" articles, please.
Give it up, Chuck. Seriously. Give it up.
This person is a writer? This article was so poorly written. The content was also lacking.. race/food aside.. he begins with this great story full of misunderstandings & cultural differences.. and then says, "The potato salad – while still naked in my eyes – was pretty good. So was the pumpkin pie." Way to sum it up. Forget the food & fam.. where is journalism to be grateful for??!
Also.. sounds like his bf's family just can't cook very well. Naked potato salad?! Unacceptable.. for any race.
It's called a personal essay, not journalism.
People...this is not about racism! This is about the comfort one feels with one's family Thanksgiving traditions....and new cultural experiences...which by the way is a good thing!
I had a neighbor for Thanksgiving last year. She had never had Thanksgiving with an African American family and was simply mesmorized by "all the different foods that I have never heard of or even thought of tasting." She could not get over the greens, sweet potato pie, fried corn, rutabagas, etc, etc, etc . We laughed together and she said...wow what a feast! My experience was the opposite experience of this CNN author. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the differences of other cultures. Let's embrace our differences and enjoy Life!!!!
Halleluiah Victoria! Well said.
Seriously? People are in a snit over this article? Most of you missed the whole point...its simply about dirfferences, not about race or ethnicity. Get over yourselves and lighten-up, you bunch of old curmudgeons.
Yea I would miss the greens too! A lot of people I know in the great white north do not eat or have a taste for "Soul Food", Its southern food in reality. Man do I miss my aunts collards with hot chow chow and turnips! Now collards, turnip greens, mustard greens or Kale prepared is not entirely embraced by Northeastern white folk but down in NC GA SC ... all white folk eat that food especially at Thanksgiving. Cut me a big slice of Sweet potato pie...
You can pull up at our table any time for Thanksgiving!! You would fit right in! (Southern black girl from NC)
Mmmm...Chow Chow!! Now I have to go look up a recipe! I forgot all about Chow Chow!! (Puerto Rican girl in NM...raised by white people in TX)
I bet is was your mom, grandmother or who ever else cooked "your family food". It is a lot of work that goes into making big meal and should be appreciated no matter what one's eats. Also, you did not consider your boyfriends family's feelings. What if they read this article? They might feel that they did something wrong, not meeting your ideal views. Not a good way to start things off to becoming a family.
If they did read it, I hope they can read better than you. You missed his point entirely.
I am offended by this article in so many ways. Shame on you CNN.
7 billion people on the planet and guess how many actually give a rip?
Thanks for the article you racist SOB!
Daaayuuum, and a very good morning to you too.
read the article again nick....stop being so myopic..
Uhh. You want him to read it AGAIN? Plus, he'll have to look up what myopic means. That's probably too much work for him.
This eating holiday has become the center of business sell offs. Everyone turns into miss or mr do gooder and becomes oh please, thank you, what a sham. Go out and look, then view the same peoople a few days later and those same people would be completely different. Spending time with family is good, you can do this anytime of year.
From your post, it appears the Grinch may have some competition – how about a side of whine with your bitterness?
Is it race or ethnic? I don't know many other white people who'll have lasagna as part of their Thanksgiving spread but, on our table it's a must for my Italian grandmother. My other grandmother, British born, hasn't hosted Thanksgiving since I was a child but, what I remember best from her table is Trifle pudding and boiled carrots.
Also, I hate green bean casserole, sweet potato pie is evil because of it's resemblance to the glory that is pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes are best left in a baking dish slathered in brown sugar and marshmallows, and the biggest part of Thanksgiving is all the wine it takes to put up with all of your family's crap for the day.
I also despise green bean casserole. Why ruin perfectly good vegetables? Give me some freshly steamed to the peak of perfection neon-green green beans with a little pat of butter on them any day over that casserole slop.
Agreed, and with a hint of bacon.
Oh give me a break. This person's experience doesn't depend nearly as much on race as it does on personal family preference for serving certain foods at Thanksgiving. I have been invited to have Thanksgiving at many family and friends' homes all over this country, and not ONE of them served the same menu as my own family (ever had mexican turkey and tamales for thanksgiving? Don't knock it till you try it!). What's the matter with just eating food that – while it may not be what you are used to – just plain TASTES GOOD and stop being hung up on the skin color of the person who made it??
As someone who loves apple pie with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top, cornbread dressing, sausage with biscuits and gravy, collard greens, good BBQ, and anything with sauerkraut (a serious nod to my German heritage), I say a resounding "FEH!" to the concept that race and good food have anything to do with one another.
Why does it always have to be a race thing? This is why we can never move on.
Actually, considering my Thanksgiving customs (since, I'm from where the Pilgrims are) are the originals, wouldn't it be yours that are quite off?
I apologize for those farts that ruinded yoiur wedding. I hope you can forgive me. It's just those people at Taco Bell with their "May I take your order?" and "How can I help you?" I just got all beand up. I'm sorry. – Dad
Sir, I admire your courage in attempting to set things right with your daughter. Not sure this is the place to do it. You are an American hero. I'm going to have a slice of apple pie right now!
My goodness you need to go back to school to brush up on comprehension, if you are making this article out to be a "my thanksgiving not yours is the real one". Go back to school, or I can have my 2nd grader read you the article an explain the key points.
"Actually, considering my Thanksgiving customs (since, I'm from where the Pilgrims are) are the originals, wouldn't it be yours that are quite off?"
Pilgrims...originals? You brag about being of a lot who stole and murdered on this land we now call USA?? I guess that is what you meant in "original". You're on the wrong topic.
We aren't "white" any more than LZ is "colored". The non-bigoted term is "Caucasian".
white is fine with me.
Caucasian refers to peoples from the Caucas mountain region (between modern day Europe and Russia). Anglo might be more of what you mean as it is peoples from the Engle river region (middle European region).
I prefer people just call me white in stead of Caucasian or Anglo. It's perfectly acceptable.
Im white but prefer Native American since I was born here in the States.
I don't see how anyone could get racism from this. If anything I see someone who experienced something new and learned from it. He also pointed out that everyone's idea of normal is different and different is good!
I love Thanksgiving. It is truly a beautiful holiday for various reasons, from food to joy and laughter, to the giving and thanks. I hope everybody has an enjoyable a Thanksgiving this year, because I believe this is day that Americans have an obligation to have fun and stop stressing. It is truly my favorite holiday!
Clearly Mr. Granderson is over-generalizing due to race. To get this out of the way, I am not a Caucasian or an African-american. Firstly, not all African-Americans eat soul food and not all Caucasians eat the meal that he has described in the article. As previously stated by many of my fellow commenters, these Thanksgiving meals are solely based on regional differences, not racial differences. The meal that Mr. Granderson and his family typically eats is embedded throughout the South, and is not confined to one race or ethnicity group. The meal that his partner's family generally eats is generally eaten in other parts of the U.S., like the North or Mid-West. On a different note, I would like to state that Mr. Granderson's experience was truly enlightening, as I have only lived a short life (I am still in my younger teen years), but still have a lot of cultural experiences to go and food is a common theme of a culture, truly depicting the non-biased view of society. I have found this article a little unpleasant, but still very enjoyable and enlightening. I hope to be able to become accustomed to other foods and cultures and to travel the world to truly experience the world. Thanks Mr. Granderson for sharing your experience and thank you CNN for posting something about Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.
I absolutely can not believe this was allowed to be posted! This is the most racist posting I have seen here in a long time and is incredibly shameful.
If this were a straight white guy posting this racist rant, then we would have Al Sharpton marching on CNN headquarters and getting advertisers to pull there spots with the network.
My thoughts exactally!
His article admits that the meal was a turning point for him and after that he realized that soul food is not about race, but the love people have for the food. He also said that later on he realized that many blacks don't cook soul food, and people of other races including whites do. Its an actual story of how people go from thinking narrowly because of how they've been brought up to thinking broadly. Are you people shouting racism being deliberately stupid? You are an embarrassment to white people.
the article is only racist if you're racist. I found it humorous and entertaining.
Thank you for sharing your personal journey., It can be shocking & even painful to feel that you aren't as open/tolerant/unbigoted as you thought, but you handled it very well, & even turned it into a "teaching moment". Would that even half the cretisn commenting here could do even half as well.
Many are missing the main point. We need to buy the father of the home a strong drink. Not only is his son gay, but gay and doing a black man. Wow, could it be any worse for that poor man?
No collards for Thanksgiving, that would have been my que to dismiss myself from the table. That is almost as bad as having Thanksgiving from a cook with high blood pressure. AWW the ultimate disappointment. Although the greens beans sounded like they were on point.
A good story, but I think the "Food Channel" needs to decide on how this "soul" food came into existence! Then have a TG dinner cooking contest BETWEEN these two families!
I read this article and thoroughly enjoyed it!! It has always been my belief that everyone brings something from their specific culture to their thanksgiving table. In my house it is collard greens and sweet potato pie!! The point in the article is that different does not mean not as good, just different that what the writer was accustomed to..
I'm glad the writer wrote this....because I certainly enjoyed reading it and will bring it up during Thanksgiving dinner next week!!
Ms. Wright, I totally agree with your comment. However, I never thought I would refer to myself as a boy, since I am actually an old man.
I have been reading LZ Granderson’s columns for some time and usually agree with what he has to say. When I saw the title to this particular article, I thought, “What the . . .,” but then I saw the name of the writer. That is when I knew that I would enjoy his post. Even though we have never met, I feel like LZ Granderson and I are old friends. I am very sorry that so many people thought this was a racist article, but I did enjoy many comments on the cultural diversity with which people in this country celebrate Thanksgiving. Just one correction to some comments, the first Thanksgiving was not in Plymouth, but in Jamestown, Virginia. The reason I know is that my family was there.
This Thanksgiving I will be fixing a traditional Southern meal (much the same as soul food) for my sister and me. Mr. Granderson if you would like to join us please let me know and I will fix collard green. That is something that I do not usually do, so a little warning would be in order.
I can totally sympathize with the author of this article. Where I grew up we always had "southern" type foods, fresh off of the farm for Thanksgiving. They were prepared simply, but deliciously, and all of the food was local. Then I moved up north for college. To my dismay, my boyfriend's family did not cook food like my family. It was mostly from a can, not super flavorful and little effort was put into preparing dishes. It is a little heartbreaking but I think it makes you appreciate where you came from much more.
I liked the Article, and I understand what he is trying to say. After reading many of the posts I can see that many of you missed the point.
Thanks, LZ your story reminded me of my first Holiday away from home.
WOW !!! I read through about 20 of these comments and scrolled straight to the bottom. I'm sorry, but it seems that ever since Obama got elected everybody is getting butt hurt over the stupidest things. Race is always the topic of conversation, and no one can say anything good or bad without it turning into a 7 day segment on the nightly news. This article is completely and totally benign, and just says what most of us may be thinking at times when we are thrust into a new situation and have closed minds in terms of the cultures and habits of other people besides our own. Different doesn't mean not as good, and that's all she was trying to say. My family is very ethnically diverse, and i laughed when she talked about the green bean casserole, one of my sister in laws signature dishes, and she happens to be Dominican and Puerto Rican . Our Thanksgiving table consists of traditional southern dishes, puertorican and cuban dishes, and everything in between. For someone that grew up eating the same things year after year, I enjoy having some variety on my table now. I just cant believe how something so innocent could spark such heated debate. Its really not that serious...
Maybe you should have read the whole thing before you commented. Your comment does not accurately respond to this post at all. There was no debate, and the author explains how this event helped. The title may be a little misleading, but the overall point was about understanding differences, trying new things, how the experience opened her eyes, and how grateful she was for the experience. So i'll say to you, since Obama has been in office, TOO MANY people have rushed to judgement over simple things without knowing the facts. Next time read and dont scroll through. With that kind of mind set, Im assuming you're a Tea Party supporter. Fight anything without knowing the facts, and blame Obama when you can. (for the record, Obama had nothing to do with this article! smh)
You hit the nail right on it's head. If you talk about toilet the "pinheads", (as Bill O'Reilly would say), come out of the woodworks throwing in ethnic rhetoric. Yet, yell the loudest how African Americans raise the issue at any opportunity. Insane.
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