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. Vince

    Odd article.... I have never have read such a tortured article by a tortured writer to try and connect poptato salad with race. I dont envy this man.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • jason

      Oh come on, the article isn't about potato salad. He's telling a story about stepping out of his comfort zone and seeing the world differently.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
  2. The Dude

    Thanksgiving diners have more to do with culture and even geographic area than skin color. I've been to TG diners in the north the south and my wifes family on the west coast. All are different with different types of foods. For instance my family that lives in the south one dish that was an absolute must was banana pudding. However my wifes family (Pacific Islanders now living in Seattle) never had turkey it was always pork and fish and rice, This was a shock for me because you just don't have Thanksgiving without turkey and some sort of potato dish.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
  3. Jeff

    Why does this article even mention race? It is about different traditions at Thanksgiving. Thanks for pointing out how all of us "whites" are bland. You need to really stop being racist.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • Conner

      Reading comprehension is tough, isn't it? He was talking from the perspective of a black man. Later in the article as he talked about getting a better world view it was more about different traditions and not the color of ones skin... Learn to read brah...

      November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
      • deanna1

        I think he has a few more years to go to really become a good writer. So, many in here had trouble understanding what he was 'really' talking about, the reader should never be thinking...huh?

        November 16, 2011 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Tonlok

      @Jeff
      I guess you read/watched Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and can't find the symbols or character struggles that parallel your life.
      .
      The story is about someone experiencing a new view of an event that he thought could only be a certain way, and the new perspective and insight he gained by expanding his understanding that his view may not be totally inclusive of all.
      .
      The fact that you read that and only took from it not speak of race, is more telling about you and, ironically, speaks to your insecurities about the topic.
      .
      Go to a 'soul' thanksgiving (not 'black' to make you feel better) and expand your view.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
  4. aochs615

    Bet if this article was called my dinner with black people and eating fried chicken for thanksgiving it would have never been posted.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • reese

      black ppl actually eat ham & turkey for thanksgiving not fried chicken and watermelon...racist pig

      November 16, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • antigay

        Don't forget dem pickled pigs feet, funyuns, and kool-aid. OOo wee, we be feastin now.

        November 16, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • Jared

        I'm white and I'd welcome fried chicken and watermelon. In fact, I think I'll bring the watermelon!

        November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • joyce

      Amen to that such a double standard now.....and by the way, Whites are the minority now so I want all the free stuff. Jobs I am not qualified for, acceptance to schools base just on my skin color and scholarships just for us whites. Think this will ever happen???

      November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • antigay

        Sorry Joyce, "Affirmative Distraction," is only for dark meat.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
      • ItsAlwaysAboutRace

        Nope! That is too much like right... Try to start the "White College Fund" and see how fast you're in court.. These days, minority or not, we are to feel guilty for being white.... Double-standards of the race card – Gotta love it...

        November 16, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • reese

        actually it already had happened white folks been doing it for years...Joyce ur a racist...by the sound of it a broke & jealous racist

        November 16, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply
      • reese

        you whites already got a white college fund its called 'lets selfishly profit from the black slaves and their descendents raise their unemployment to double ours and then still not be satisfied' ....joyce you should hook up with antigay u both seem like compatible idiots

        November 16, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
  5. jdog

    msriss – tongue and cheek for a white person saying anything in regards to a black person would have ended very differently – like the article not being published – we should all be allowed to have respect given to us – i cannot mention black people by color you cannot mention white people by color – all is fair in love and war baby! And you are right – it is not racist this guy is a good person by all accounts of what i read of him often BUT the bigger picture is white people have sat quietly while being attack for the language choices they use – now other races need to be sensitive to the white people of different race – i am Irish NOT white!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
  6. Susan

    I am sorry but we non-black folks have been socialized to be sooooo careful not to offend, and this would never fly from a white person taking the same stance-–Why should the rules be any different? The less we highlight differences the sooner we will ALL overcome whatever issues are still there. I feel you couldve gotten your point across in a better way , sorry

    November 16, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • reese

      its different because WHITE PPL made it that way...I believe they done enough of pointing out other races indifference over the last 300 years THAT'S WHY

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • ReeseGetsMoronicPostofTheday

        300 years and you were directly effected how? Let me guess, you grew up hearing how bad it was so you have allowed it to predict your entire life around whites... What a small life you must live. Most with a 300 year old chip on their shoulder are the biggest racists of them all... For the record, I've never owned a slave so how is any of this my fault? Being a "white" and all....

        November 16, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply
      • reese

        what a idiot...it don't effect me or my ppl today...so y am I wearing still a slave owners last name...idiot...you get the moron of the century award!!!

        November 16, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  7. kurtinco

    So many stupid comments. This article made me laugh. And I loved the ending where he learned to, "understand the difference between accepting our differences and celebrating them. And for that, I am forever thankful." So am I.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • pkr

      Amen!

      November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • My thoughts ....

      ... exactly. He is one of the few that really knows how to write a good article, his topics are almost always interesting and he shares his opinion in an open, non-defensive, way. I am glad I read this one.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • deanna1

        my thoughts, I'm sorry but, too many readers didn't understand what the core of his article was all about other than he was a racist. I, myself, had to read it over a few times, altho with that said I hope he continues to write but perhaps with a class thrown in here and there. One should never have to 'guess' his point of view.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
  8. Skelly

    Remember those who cannot afford a meal this time of year...lets stop fighting about differences and pull together and make the changes that we need to make as a unified America...lets grow together and end these silly differences. Lets help those less fortunate and remember what we are Thankful for this Thanksgiving most. Thanks for the article LZ, I am so glad you found the love that existed at the end of it all :)

    November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Eloise

      The real story here was the fact that two gay guys went to one of their parents together for Thanksgiving and the elephant in the middle of the room was the potato salad and not the two gay guys. We've come a long way. If we could only keep conservatives out of politics, there would be more meaning to family.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  9. Yawn

    Wow, seriously? The biggest thing this guy has to complain about is another family cooking different food for Thanksgiving? Excuse me while I get back to the real problems in my life.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • kurtinco

      It wasn't a complaint, hole. Read much?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • yep

        Kurt is correct.. This is about a gay racists who does not like potato salad (or white people if you read the last 20 stories this idiot has written)....

        November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
  10. The Guru

    @twotonnewton THANK YOU I HAVE A REAL PROBLEM WITH THIS GUY AND YOUR RIGHT WHO GIVES A DANG ABOUT RACE WHAT ABOUT HIS ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE PROMOTION ITS RIDICULOUS AND JUST KNOW I AGREE WITH YOU 1000%. BUT APPARENTLY THIS IS THE NEW AMERICA WE LIVE IN....

    @Mike....I am VERY SICK OF THIS TOO! LOL....HIS STORIES ARE INSIPID AND SO IS HE!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
  11. Jared

    I think people are missing the point, and that it seems to be that while we may be different do things different, that most of us still approach Thanksgiving and even life the same way. I would add that it is our differences that make us stronger as a nation, and well give us a better Thanksgiving.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  12. pkr

    What a great article on food diversity! Regional and cultural differences are a learning experience. I prepare many recipes from my great-grandmother (who knows where she got them!), and our family always seems stuffed on starches! Diets get thrown out the window on Thanksgiving. It's about family, love, and giving thanks for what we have.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  13. Doc

    I remember my first Thanksgiving with black people. You see I'm a white guy and if I wrote something like this I'd be put up for public display as a racist which I'm not by the way. I'm so sick of the liberal media double standards. And by the way, when are we all just going to be Americans anyway? Sadly I'm beginning to think that day is gone.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  14. chefdugan

    Will you people lighten up! Yes, he's gay – so what! The article speaks about love that tranforms itself into food and NOBODY gets the point! As a chef I am grateful I don't have to cook for any of you. Why don't you just go to Burger King this Thansgiving and upgrade your eating habits?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  15. AuntieMame

    How can any article about food be wrong? Anyway, there is no better way to understand a culture than through their food. (I'm sure Anthony Bourdain would agree with me.) African Americans may have invented the term "soul food," but by no means do we own it. There is soul food in every culture: Jewish, Cajun, Korean, Italian, German, Puerto Rican, etc. You name it. It's about what comes from the heart and brings people together. I myself am looking forward to my Mom's candied yams, mac/cheese, stuffing, turkey, ham, and collards. (I'm salivating just thinking about it.) So everyone just chill out and a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. And do remember those less fortunate who will be grateful a meal period – holiday or otherwise.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
  16. Yumyum

    I liked Granderson's article. I think families in general, not necessarily racial cultures, have holiday traditions that might seem quirky to some, but would totally throw the planet off it's axis if they were omitted or changed. Realizing that we all like and do different things is the most important part of the article. The key is to not accept your tradition as the way things should be, but rather the way you prefer. Don't knock what someone else does, it's what they prefer, and don't be so small minded to assume everybody else is doing exactly what you do! In my family, we cook the night before, and eat and mingle all day on Thanksgiving so no one is tied up in a kitchen. Yes, Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Football for desert :-)

    November 16, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Tim

      Thank you for a great reply. It is amazing so many on here missed the point of the article.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  17. Dana

    Seriously, people, read the entire article before you post. The article is about the pleasure of expanding one's horizons and overcoming our initial discomfort when doing so.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  18. msriss

    Anyone who thinks this article is racist is an idiot. It was a tongue and cheek reference of acclamating yourself beyond the familiar.

    I remember one time I (black) went to dinner at a friends house (also black), took a big bite of her mother's baked macaroni and cheese and it took everything in my power to not spit it out. It was SWEET??!! Who the heck ever heard of sweet mac n cheese? But her mother's tradition was to use condensed milk in her mac n cheese. They loved it, I on the other hand ate it out of respect but never touched her mac n chees again. LOL

    It doesn't matter if the difference is by race or by region, it was just a funny story about realizing what is comfort to you may be different comfort to others and the beauty of life is experiencing the tradition of others.

    I think the story would have been even funnier if it were a white guy about his first black Thanksgiving..."A chitterling is WHAT??!!! LOL!!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • aus

      last time a jig was at a thanksgiving dinner with me it was hanging from a tree

      November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
      • msriss

        Awwwww look at aus....such a cute attempt to offend somebody....okay baby...now that you've stood up on your hind legs for your moment of fame, you want your binky back?

        November 16, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • clevercandi

        I believe you've misspelled your name :)

        November 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • AH

        REMOVE THAT CLEARLY RACIST AND HORRIFIC COMMENT. thanks – white guy

        November 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • dnfromge

      I agree with you – it is about widening our cultural experiences – learning about others and as he states, understanding, accepting and celebrating differences. It was an upbeat and entertaining article!

      November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
  19. Mike Giffs

    It's not Thanksgiving without Tofurky!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  20. Freygunnr

    LZ, thanks for being unafraid to explore what many people are thinking when they cross the racial divide.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  21. YNC

    This article is the stupidest thing I've ever read. He obviously wasn't eating Thanksgiving in the sout. Soul food isn't just a "black" thing down here. This is beyond racist stereotyping and should be deleted. Stay classy CNN.....

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Damon

      Obviously, you didn't read the entire article id10t. He specifically says, that soul food isn't just about being black. Read first before you post something ignorant.
      "

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • Chris

        Thank you! I doubt half these people crying racism didn't even read the article.

        November 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  22. waycist

    Come to my house LZ,,,it'll be your last Thanksgiving with white people.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • chuck

      Is the food that bad?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • clara

      No one wants your mayonaisse sandwiches.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
  23. John

    I love when my white race feigns being offended. Really? You're going to get offended about someone worried there were no greens at dinner? Or are you sure it really isn't the fact a gay black man is writing the article, like "The Guru" truly has a problem with? Get over yourselves people. This is a food blog.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • moose

      I don't think people are really upset about him writing the article. I think what they're really upset about is the fact that they couldn't do likewise i.e. that if a white person wrote somehting like this theyd be crucified. I can see it now: the stomach that they served tasted awful, the potato salad had red crap on top, and the "salad" was for some reason boiled and got stuck in your teeth

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
  24. Steve Makalow

    This isn't a race thing at all. I'm white and have been both excited and horrified by seeing what other white people have for dinner.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  25. Rod C. Venger

    So, LZ, given your distaste for white food, I guess we can deduce that you spit, don't swallow? lolololololololololololololololol

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  26. Tyler

    Granderson, I wouldn't define most of the cooking differences you describe as 'black' or 'white'. They seem more like regional cooking variations to me. I am originally from SC and we ate various types of greens and our potato salad was more like your family's. These differences are between NE and Southern cooking styles. My best friend was black in High school and our families cooked virtually the exact same things on the holidays. Regional cultural differences in the US are greater that local variation by 'race'.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Binny

      Tyler, you have hit it right on the head! My mom's best friend when I was growing up was black. We lived in the midwest. Their Thanksgiving was virtually the same as ours except for one thing; they did not have cannoli along with the pumpkin pie for dessert! Never had sweet potato pie or greens until I worked in Detroit with someone from Atlanta. I will say, a lot of my black friends from Detroit ate "soul food", but most had ties to the south. Now I live in the south, and LOTS of people I know- black, white and hispanic- cook greens, grits and chitlins.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  27. Sharon

    I thought it was an interesting article and the point really was human relations and not food. My husband and I are actually going to our first Thanksgiving with white people next week and looking forward to new foods, new friends and a good time.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  28. Freygunnr

    When whites cook it, it isn't called "soul food" it is officially "white-trash cookin'." I'm not making that up, I have the actual cookbook: Ernest Matthew Mickler – White Trash Cooking, based largely in Florida. My grandmother passed it on to me (we are NOT from Florida) and I thought it was hilarious until I read a few recipies we ate in our family heh.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
  29. zach

    do you not have anything better to do than complain about life? every single one of your articles is just you whining about how bad your life is. grow up.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • JScopes

      Ummm... Did you and I read the same article?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • msriss

      Do you have anything better to do than to complain about articles written by an author you clearly don't like but you still read their content anyway? Grow up.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • yeahalright

      yet you keep reading every one apparently...

      November 16, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
  30. Mike

    Is anybody else really sick of this guy?
    He's always on the front page of the CNN website telling his black stories.

    I know it is some sort of CNN diversity scheme but he's actually really annoying.

    Put something useful up, CNN.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Rod C. Venger

      Not just black, but Afro-Gay. LZ do love a parade, don't he? Even, or especially, if he's the only one in it.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Kurt

      I can't say I always agree or always like what he writes, but personally I like reading different perspectives on life. It's definitely easier to judge than to understand – perhaps you need to become "more worldly" as well?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • yeahalright

      I know and it really stinks that he takes a gun to your head and forces you to read them.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
  31. twotonnewton

    This article is about what different people eat for Thanksgiving?? I couldn't get past the part about them being gay.

    Why the outrage about whether or not the author is racist, when the bigger question is why are all of you ignoring the fact that this article glosses over the parading of a gay relationship at an iconic, traditional holiday observance?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • GetReal

      Oh, get over yourself.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Courtney

      I agree.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • yeahalright

      Parading huh?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • sockpuppet

      When we judge harshly, God will find a way to send those very issues into our lives to teach us humility and compassion. I cannot wait for the day when one of your relatives comes out of the closet.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply
  32. The Guru

    This guy is a FOOL. His articles are ridiculous and his self promotion of his alternative lifestyle is sickening and I'm tired of CNN giving him a voice. I echo the comments of someone earlier more racial divisive rhetoric. Culturally we are all different which in my opinion makes America great! CNN are the real race-baters for publishing people like this guy.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Completely agree with you.
      Well said.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • neoritter

      I pretty much agree here. At least in this article though he made some attempt to not sound racist after the, this food has no soul bit.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • Jagged

      I also agree.
      He is a complete "wedge".
      Waste of ink.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Faithful

      How can you to spew hate on on article that ends giving thanks for cultural diversity...

      November 16, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  33. abacab

    Holy hell ... unreal. Simply unreal. You've got to be utterly ashamed for even thinking this column is a good idea. Are you guys actually patting yourselves on the back for assigning this or agreeing to run it? The same people who could actually enjoy this article squawk about how we're not a post-racial society yet. Hm, wonder why. What's next: My first Hanukkah with Jews? Lunch with Southerners? And the sad, not-really-subtle implication under all this is somehow the "white people" Thanksgiving is boring and inferior. Talk about perpetuating a BS stereotype. Nothing white-bread about my Thanksgiving, I can assure you. But thanks for playing.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
  34. Chris

    LZ, you are a total racist.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
  35. buttery_comp

    Very cute article... I love food. There's only 2 things that can make any dish a winner. 1. Another person cooks it. 2. It's free... I can stomach a lot, but those two things makes almost any dish tasty.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
  36. SuperFoodie

    I always thought LZ was racist, now I know for sure.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • kurtinco

      Are you stupid or something?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • William Marlowe

      I started out thinking the article was racist and then I read it. Maybe you should try the same.

      Great article LZ. You have a new straight white man fan. If others can't learn to expand their horizons as you have just demonstrated .... that is their loss.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  37. Jose M

    wowow, I am hispanic mix (native SoutAmericans, White Europeans and Black Africans) and I find this article kind of racist. Besides that kind of food she mentioned to be black signature, I tried too with my in laws which are Irish descendant.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am | Reply
  38. Man_of_GOD

    Anyone find this article sick! He is a black man talking about going to his white boyfriend's house! LZ his butt is not a vajina and neither is yours! My goodness!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • Scott

      Right... Sometimes I feel like I'm in bizzarro world when people comment that I have a problem because I actually think that men were only supposed to be romantically linked to women. Go figure...

      November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Faithful

      Very Godly of you to spew hate on on article that ends giving thanks for cultural diversity...

      November 16, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • Scott

        @ Faithful... Try it on someone else. I don't feel bad for looking at your fruit, and telling you what kind of tree you are. Also, is very godly to make such observations. Read Romans 1:18-32 If you rather not read it, or you rather not believe scripture... Well thats okay. It's still true. Just like if you chose not to believe in gravity... Wouldn't matter. Climb on the roof, and step off depending entirely on your disbelief in gravity. Video that so you can upload it on ytube and give us all a chuckle.

        November 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  39. jason

    whenever one is invited to someone's home for thanksgiving or any other purpose, one blesses that person's house and is grateful. it is still funny to have humor with other people's crazy dishes (jello mold with marshmallow topping and caramel sauce, for example) eddie murphy did this same routine many years ago to poke fun at food that white people bring when invited to dinner...

    November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am | Reply
  40. Trina

    A few years ago, a girl at work, wanted to start a side business catering lunches. (She was black and I was white.) I thought I would give it a try, so I ordered a chicken sandwich. I received a piece of fried chicken, including the bones, between two slices of white bread. I was surprised. I was then told by another coworker (can't remember what color she was) that that was a standard chicken sandwich for black people from the city. The chicken was good, but I couldn't figure out how I would have eaten it as a sandwich with the bones in it.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • No ma'am

      Umm...I'm not sure who told you that was 'standard', but they fed you an ignorant stereotype that day. A piece of fried chicken – bone in, nonetheless – between two pieces of bread is NOT standard fare in black households.

      Black people eat about as much fried chicken as anyone else. Geez!

      November 16, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • Trina

        Hmmm... I didn't say that. I didn't say that black households eat a lot of fried chicken or that it was standard fare. I said that I was told that, in our area, black people from the city would be expecting bones in their fried chicken sandwich. I just thought that was weird that a fried chicken sandwich was different for people from the city versus people from the suburbs or for people who were black and from the city versus people who were white and from the suburbs. I am not sure where the culture line was drawn, but I was apparently not on the same page as my friend.

        November 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  41. Kara

    Is it just me or does this guys constantly talk about white people like we're aliens?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Chris

      what do you expect form a liberal "journalist"?
      Anyway, its ok to be racist towards white people. Especially white women like Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachman.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • St8sman

        I'm not disgusted with Sarah and Michelle because they're white. Just because they're both so d**n ignorant.

        November 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • clevercandi

        That's funny. I'm a white woman and I don't find him to be racist at all :)

        November 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  42. Cq

    Wouldn't it be nice if people not only READ the article, but UNDERSTOOD it? LZ is saying nothing about what makes 'black food' black or 'white food' white, but that HE had misconceptions about all of that, and that HE his thankful for having his horizons opened.

    This article was about expanding one's sphere of knowledge, and growing as a person. Before you comment, why not try and think first.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Tim

      Thank you Cq. I promise you reading comprehension is lost in our society. The main people on here talking about him being racist missed the point of the article totally.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • jewels

      i blame the schools for not adequately teaching reading comprehension.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • Faithful

      Thank you so much Cq a voice of reason is needed, how can so much hate be spewed out over an article giving thanks for cultural diversity

      November 16, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • DeeNYC

      Pretty sad that a grown man only now realizes that different families cook different styles of food. He also needs to learn not to insult his hosts by calling their food bland and cooked without soul. What a narrow little world he lives in and he's a journalist.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  43. dev

    racist punk

    November 16, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
  44. beawinner

    Nice article. I like his point about stepping out of our comfort zones and trying something different. It's good for all of us to do.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
  45. sle

    Wow ... CNN everyday you surprise me more with the amount of stupid articles you post on your website. As for LZ, I personality think that ALL your articles are retarded... how about not using race as the main point of an article and actually posted something with some substance.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • tcp

      How about not using the word retarded?

      November 16, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
      • Big_Buttered_Biscuit

        I believe the word retarded should define people capable of rational thought, but choose NOT to act rationally. Why? Because mentally handicapped people didn't CHOOSE to be born with a mental handicap. Taking note of that, it's also obvious that those who use the word "retarded" mean it in a derogatory fashion–although not referring to actual mentally handicapped people. So, why don't we eliminate all confusion for all the oversensitive people out there and just change the definition already?? Or at least realize that the people who say "retarded" they way they do are NOT actually making fun of handicapped people, and just shut up about it.

        Also LZ you are a racist. Have a good day doing what many black people do best.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Jason

      If you're so offended by what Mr. Granderson writes, why do you continue to read it? There are opinion writers on here that I disagree with, and I check the by-line before reading. That may be closed-minded of me, but if I see that it's a writer I rarely agree with, I either don't read it, or read it skeptically. And when I do post arguments, I try to think them out and write them objectively, without attacking the authors themselves, much less calling their work "retarded."

      November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  46. Loopman

    Not wanting to throw a blanket on the whole "gay, interracial Thanksgiving experience", over the years I have had the opprotunity and the pleasure of celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and acquaintances of various ethnic backgrounds. One that was of particular enjoyment was being in the Marines just before being shipped to Viet Nam and having one of my platoon mates invite a small group to his home in the mexican barrio section of LA, Pico Rivera, to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family before we all shipped out. The meal wasn't fancy but was very good and was prepared with the love that only a mother could bestow on it. I never realized how many different ways that you could fix beans, meat, and tortillas, but it was a meal fit for a king. It's not the type of food that you fix that makes the celebration special, it's the spirit and love in which the meal is shared that makes it a true Thanksgiving.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Reply
  47. Jan

    Mixed greens...great!!! Turkey, mashed potatoes/gravy, cornbread dressing (never in the bird), candied sweet potatoes, squash pie (kinda like pumpkin but better). Finally got my mom off that bad canned, jellied cranberry sauce on to ground cranberries with oranges, apples and nuts. Do that after holidays when fresh cranberries go on sale. Make it up and freeze it for the rest of the year. Also black eyed peas, cornbread and greens for New Years for good luck. In Indiana now, but born and raised in deep southern illinois. White, female and 54!

    November 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • kevin dickinson

      Jan thank you, for a moment i throught i was reading the same old thanksgiving dinner i have always had growing up in a small country town in west kentucky and still have to this day. thanksgiving would not be the same without it. Oh and by the way, i am a black american thats been out since i was 15 and now i am 48.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  48. Bri

    As a white woman in an interracial relationship I can completely understand this article, but from the opposite point of view. I am used to mashed potatoes, grean bean caserole and only a turkey at Thanksgiving. Three years ago my boyfriend and I hosted his family for their annual "Saturday Thanksgiving" where I was introduced to my new Thanksgiving traditions: mac and cheese, greens, fried chicken, cornbread and sweet potato pie. Thanksgiving now has a deeper meaning to me to see how much effort EVERY family member puts into our dinner. Thanks for this article and I am glad everything worked out.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • aus

      good job race traitor

      November 16, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
      • karen in texas

        Where is the damn moderator when you need him!

        November 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Richie

      So If I wrote an article called My First Thanksgiving with Black People I wouldn't get in trouble? This apperas a little non-sensitive.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • DB

        Oh will you GROW UP, you pathetic little weasel?

        November 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • John

      Fried chicken is acceptable any time of the year :)

      November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • chuck

      My husband is Italian and I never imagined in a million years that on my first Thanksgiving at my new in-laws house, there would actually be spaghetti and meatballs and a salad. I have to admit I was craving my Mother's turkey and dressing, but I sat politely and enjoyed the day. I will never forget it. My biggest shock was that no one else said a thing about the spaghetti. I seemed to be the only one taken aback.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • sockpuppet

        your biggest shock was that nobody else was shocked by their own traditions? smart.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
  49. Monnica

    Well... a lot of thought certainly went into this article.

    I'm black and, holiday or not, I hate greens because they're bitter. I'm guessing you'll also find some whites who love greens. Regardless of race, different families, different people, have different tastes and traditions. The whole "my Christmas with white people" line is just as offensive as it would be if a white writer wrote a silly article about his/her Christmas with black people.

    And for the record, this black person won't be eating KYs (chitlings) for New Year's either.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • neoritter

      ^This, thankyou.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
  50. Chance

    Its regional. Not racial. Explain the difference between Southern cooking and "Black" food.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Scott3691

      Bingo, he just explained every white southern thanksgiving. Guess when African Americans went north they kept southern traditions. So I guess we are all not evil down here after all hehe.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • OmarOmar

      Black food be stolen from the mission

      November 16, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Elise

      That's exactly what I was thinking. I am from the south, married to someone from the northeast, and live in the midwest. The only similar Thanksgiving food is the turkey. We combined our favorites. I have learned stuffing can be just as good as cornbread dressing and he actually likes pecan pie.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
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