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. Thorne

    I for one enjoyed the article, being in a interracial relationship myself. My SO's first Thanksgiving with my upper Mid-west family must have seemed strange for it's lack of Kimchi and I was a little disappointed in the presence of fried fish but no turkey at his. It's all about opening your mind and experiencing others.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  2. chip

    Maybe they purposely cooked bad-tasting food so you wouldn't come back.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • sam

      HAHAHAHAHAHA

      November 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  3. Big_Buttered_Biscuit

    Look for my article called, "My Navy Experience With My Ghetto Black Shipmate"! I wonder if CNN will publish it......

    November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  4. bob

    Thanksgiving is a travesty. It is basically celebrating the genocide of millions of natives at the hands of the evil white people

    November 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • SomeGuy

      Manifest destiny goes well with turkey and stuffing.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Darryl

      You're education must not have made it past kindergarten...I learned what Thanksgiving was about in Grade One. – Go back to school idiot.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • SpaceyStacey

      Well if they can no longer tolerate what has happened in the good old us, the bering strait is still there and they can simply cross back to where they came.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • beingone

      Bob, get your head out of your azzz, its not about that at all,, maybe you should actually read up on thanksgiving and not confuse expansionism of colonial America with being thankfull for having food to eat vs starving to death.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  5. Jack columbus

    My first Thanksgiving with Black People. I went to his parents house, and soon as I walked in was watermelons and collard greens everywhere! On the table were fried chicken, biscuits and grits, Even though It wasnt good old white food, I still enjoyed the black food.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Patrick

      Grits are white food dude

      November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • lumps

      Isn't all that what blacks practically eat everyday anyway? Collard greens, chittlens, watermelon, fried chicken, purple Kool Aid? He could have just waited to go home the next day and have it all at his mommas house.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
      • reese

        right...and white ppl eat raw fish eggs, raw fish, raw meat, and raw genitals...barbaric ravenous dogs

        November 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  6. Nun YoBizness

    Bozo reporting

    November 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • be da Bizness

      datz what im talkin bout

      November 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  7. MC in TX

    What I do think is sad is that we have lost the meaning of the Thanksgiving feast. The original intent was that it should be a feast based on New World foods. The pilgrims survived only because, out of necessity, they gave up on their clinging strictly to the Old World foods they had tried to cultivate and utilized the local foods the natives shared with them. Thanksgiving is in part supposed to be about embracing the New World. That's why turkey, potatoes, yams, and pumpkin pie are traditional staples. Today, though, few people remember this or make any real effort to focus their meals on this principle.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  8. kat

    This is incredably racist... if a white person was to say " My first thanksgiving with black people"... i would be in deep crap... but he can say that? Thanksgiving isnt about race..

    November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Jello sucks and so do you

      Gaaaawwwd.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Dee Jay

      why is it that every article I read from this guy seems to come off as racist?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Chas

      An obvious racist rant. On and on, day after day, gay this gay that, black this, white that, bla bla bla.
      What a wast of space is this no-talent gibberish. Boring. Guess it makes CNN feel good.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Benny

      Did the people who were critical of this article READ the article? It appears not...

      November 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • yeahalright

      If some random white person wrote an article about his first meal in a black home – you – would be a racist?

      No, you're already a racist.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Godstar

      Yeah, there is a disproportionate amount of reverse racism that happens that isn't acknowledged. He could have just said "A Thanksgiving Out Of My Own Comfort Zone."

      I mean whenever I go out and have Thanksgiving with people, the first thing I notice is their ethnicity! Thanksgiving with the red skins. Or Thanksgiving with the yellow people.

      Can't we just all call people what they are, people, and leave the whole racial description stuff up to individuals cultural heritages for once?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • SoljaGurl

      Well Im white and my first Thanksgiving with black people went as such, we were all best friends and we all ate food. I grew up in south Fla and we all ate the same things. I lived in a mixed neighborhood. As I grew older the neighborhood turned more black. So I know how he feels and it isnt racist its the truth...

      November 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Jeremy

      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.

      *******READ THE ARTICLE NEXT TIME! SMH*******

      November 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Luisa

      Don't you know how to read the entire article? Just because you read "Headlines" doesn't mean you read the news. wow

      November 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  9. Steve

    Not too many people made it to the end of the article, I see.
    Reminds me of when Shirley Sherrod was embroiled in a racism scandal. Everyone wanted her head on a platter, everyone wanted to show how Obama was creating a culture of racism against white people. Then somebody took the time to watch the whole video, and it turned out it was her story about "coming out", her epiphany that we are all the same and we all need help.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  10. Rasheed

    I had a Thanksgiving with white folks one time, and when the mother of my friend offered me turkey meat by saying "would you like white or dark meat Rasheed?" I couldnt believe it, I couldnt believe how racist she was. Offering me dark meat as an option because of my skin color, what an evil racist. It took all of my strength not to jump up and bash her head in, but I kept my cool and just pretended she was not there and asked for the dark meat and mashed potatoes. The food was very good, but I could not enjoy any of it knowing I was eating with a room full of white racists who hate all black people.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • reese

      lmao!!! you should have said you wanted both lol

      November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • CBo

      you're pathetic.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • pghmom

      How is that racist? How would you have liked her to ask what type of meat you would like?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Shelly

      lol this made me giggle....

      November 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • hoosierhooper

      Are you serious?! Your reaction could not be any further from the truth. Turkey has two different types of meat, white (which is dryer) and dark (which is not as dry). I have never been to a Thanksgiving where that question was not asked, and I have been to white, black and hispanic Thanksgivings. And this should not need to be stated, but I have dated black women, best friend is black, grown up and worked in mostly white and mostly black enviroments. If my black friends assumed what you did, we would not be friends. You thinking like that is a big reason why there is still race issues out there, you ASSUMED they were being racist. When they were simply offering you a choice of what you wanted. Quit taking everything so personal, not every question or statement is a reflection of race.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
      • reese

        chill out yo!!! you can't tell rasheed is just horsing around...1st its his FRIENDS mother...and racist don't invite blacks to dinner unless their going to feed em to their dog!!! This post prolly a joke meant to poke fun at all you racially sensitive wires and blacks lol job well done rasheed

        November 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • SD

      Really? Because someone asked you if you wanted white or dark meat? Are you stupid? Have you never eaten foul before? I ask this only because anywhere you go the bird is separated into white and dark meat...it's what it's called. It's not white supremacist...it's not anything!!! It's a name! No one is trying to hold you back by asking your preference in meat!!!!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Penny Nickels

      The turkeys I bake on Thanksgiving are multiracial. White meat, dark meat and brown skin...

      November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Robert

      Rasheed...it's hard to tell if you are joking, but fyi, turkey does in fact have white and dark meat. That's just how the turkey's meat is made up. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it. Some people like dark meat and others white. Your friend's mother was merely giving you a choice.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Lizzie

      How is asking white or dark meat racist?! Every turkey contains both, and is colored differently based on the part of the turkey it comes from. It's not code, it's just that there are two kinds of turkey meat! My mother will only eat white meat, mostly because she read a report that says it's healthier for you. My grandfather prefers the darker meat, and several of us mix and match! Asking white or dark isn't racist, it's just being polite because some people like one and not the other. Don't read into it, because that's just stupid. They didn't want to giev you the turkey meat that you wouldn't eat if you had a preference. How do they know what you like without asking?!

      Another great article by LZ! As a straight, Republican conservative, white woman, I look forward to them each week!!!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • AGuest9

      That was hilarious, Rasheed. (I really hope you were trying to be funny.)

      November 16, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Montana72

      Your joking right?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Tessa

      Rasheed, turkey does have white and dark meat, however she definitely should not have offered you the dark meat, that was insensitive and mean, but I dont think she was actually trying to be racist. I'm glad to you didnt smash her head in like you wanted to do, last think you need is another brother in jail. Rasheed you must realize most white people are very racist and dont realize they are racist, its just imbedded in all of them, its something you have to get used to, just like most white people are rich.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • msriss

      OMG, HE'S JOKING PEOPLE!!!

      I'm about to fall out my chair at the one person giving a detailed description of the differences between the flavors of white and dark meat.......OH WAIT maybe those follow up comments of angry people are also sarcasm??? Please tell me that is the case???? LOL

      November 16, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • SayWhatNow?

      Am I missing how this is racist? She offered you the two types of meat available in a turkey.... she was being polite. What are you being overly sensitive about?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • SpaceyStacey

      If being offered 2 versions of a protein at a formal dinner makes these people want to jump up and smash some ones head in, than there is no hope for a mc donalds fresh out of nuggets.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  11. deepwoods

    ...once you get past the fact that his writing skills are paramount to 11th Grade High School, this absurd article LZ has penned is actually funny. Anyone who comes from a dysfunctional family(and there are many of us)....can probably see the humor in the "visual" of this day. Everyone sitting around the table trying to act "natural"....all the while watching the comedy play out before them. His parents knowing that their very special dream of ever having a normal life with their son and one day his children are forever dashed. Their son in lost in not so deep thought...I thought black men were supposed to be well endowed ??? ...While good ol LZ sits there thinking...you call this potato salad ?....where the HELL is the paprika ?!?!? If the kids family that hosted the dinner considers themselves a "functional family"....im sure their having self doubts now !

    November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  12. Ephraim

    Its not a black and white thing. Its a regional location thing. We had all those dishes you missed but its because we grew up cooking Southern Food.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • WhiteCollard

      Ding ding ding. We have a winner. LZ's experience was racial, but the food was regional.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  13. Guillermo Baez

    The author is expressing his ignorance regarding geography vs. race.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  14. Narcosis70

    Very nice story. I'm afraid, though, that some people are missing the point entirely. This isn't a story about race at all, it's about culture. As a white American, I'm sure I would feel just as awkward as the author were I to attend a large holiday meal with a family in France, Germany, or Italy.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • ItsAlwaysAboutRace

      Wake up and remove the sugar coating... This writer is ALWAYS about a race card, nothing more and nothing less. LZ Granderson is the biggest POS writing for CNN. EVERYTHING spewing from his mouth is about race, racists, or the ever so common – I was wronged before I was born BS. It's people like him who create issues today because they live in the past and open wounds for the less educated to grasp and run with. I wish they would remove this clown from writing all together...IMHO – 99% of the time, the finger pointer is normally the one with race issues.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • Jello sucks and so do you

        "IMHO" Hahahahahahaha! Hardly....

        November 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  15. A white guy

    Hey CNN:
    Inject Race..
    Inject Race..
    Inject Race..
    Inject Race..
    INTO everything... wanna blow your mind – turn on CNN on Saturday morning in the background and watch yourself go crazy listening to it's raced based reporting. EVERYTHING is ........ oh, black are kept down... the MAN keeping em down.. wow... .
    Inject Race..
    Inject Race..
    Inject Race..
    Inject Race..

    Potato Salad at thanksgiving ? What ?? What kind of white family was this.. Potato Salad ?? Potato Salad ???

    November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • AGuest9

      A Southern family

      November 16, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • SD

      LOL!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  16. Kimmy

    Being born and raised in the south, I relate to this article like no other. My first Thansgiving with my husband's family was a lot like this. Going from southern soul food to Northern food was a bit of a shock! I wondered where were the deviled eggs dusted with paprika? Sure, there were eggs but they looked split & naked. There was ham, but there was no crunchy, sticky brown sugar on it, no pineapples. No cornbread to be spied either. There was a pumpkin cheesecake, and it was good, but compared to the "spread" of desserts my family often had I felt a little sad. No pies in the oven, no pineapple upside down cake and no banana pudding studded with soggy vanilla wafers! I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I'm sure my husband probably didn't know what to make of Thanksgiving at my family's either, where we ate promptly at noon and the food had been started on the day in advance and anything that had to be cooked had been started at 4 or 5 am. We grow up getting comfortable with our own family rituals and it can be hard to merge two family's traditions together, especially when they are starkly different and food related, but we are trying.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • AGuest9

      That's what makes it fun, Kimmy. Merge all those traditions somehow, and make them your own.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  17. testical

    where all da white women at?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  18. Penny Nickels

    Thanksgiving dinner is:

    Roast turkey with stuffing inside
    Green bean casserole
    Mashed potatoes with gravy
    Candied yams/sweet potatoes
    Cranberry sauce

    Anything else is sacrilegious.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • sockpuppet

      racist

      November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Elrod

      "Anything else is sacrilegious . . ." What? Are you the arbiter of holiday culinary correctness? Has this annual ritual become so constrained by presentation of the feast that we forget the roots of Thanksgiving's name, and that those "unfortunate" enough to adhere to this menu become yet another set of outcasts? What about freeing ourselves from the dogma and counting our blessings over whatever we prefer as our holiday feast?

      November 16, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  19. CalDude

    what stupid and useless article.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  20. hamlet

    Just for the record, I'm white, and we have collards at Thanksgiving. Infact, I'm eating some right now... Not sure why this writer thinks only blacks eat collards and/or soul food.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Open-Minded

      He stated in the article that it was because of his limited world view at the time.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
      • jo

        at the time? He's still shut in a racist, gay world.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  21. SomeGuy

    I bet they didn't have fried chicken or watermelon at Thanksgiving either. What a stupid article.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Open-Minded

      Go die in a fire, you racist piece of garbage. No one will miss you!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:08 am |
      • SomeGuy

        If you can't see how his article is equally as lame as my comment then there is no hope for you.

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

        Have to agree, the entire article is bathed in a racial undertone, it always is with LZ Granderson. Stupid article and not worth the time. Good point about the watermelon/chicken, it's just as biased as the article. (But we all know, you will be called a racists when the shoe is on the other foot.) Double-standards when it comes to seed spitters....

        November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Nobs

      So it's ok for a (black) author to point out food related differences between white and black people but if a presumably not black commentor does it it's racist? This is exactly the kind of double standard thats so prevalent in our society. Either everybody can say it (which I prefer) or nobody can...

      November 16, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  22. LJTurner

    It's interesting to read people's different traditions. For instance, I'm wondering why one would want potato salad at Thanksgiving? We have stuffing and mashed potatoes with turkey gravy. Where would potato salad fit in with that? Of corse cranberries, pumpkin pie.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  23. Mary

    I've had many substandard holiday meals. BUT – the important thing was that I was with people I loved

    November 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Jared

      Ahh now that is the problem with Thanksgiving in our family. Everyone shows up, especially those family members that aren't so lovable. I remember one time two of my uncles nearly got into a fist fight. Good times though. Dinner and a free tickets to a fight.

      I can already predict this year's events. My uncle and one of my cousins will vebally spar, which neither of them of properly equiped for. My counsin will tell me his woes. My uncle will ask me how much I make and what our house cost. The two of them might get in a fight. The 15 kids between two of my cousins will run around the house like wild banshees. My other cousin's 7 kids will politely sit watching TV or helping with the food. And despite it all, I'll be fat and happy off Grandmother and mom's cooking with stories to tell my wife when she gets home the next week.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  24. JL

    Every so often I feel like giving this guy another chance to see if he can possibly write ANYTHING worth reading. Sigh....why do I keep doing this to myself?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • cl3532

      definitely not one of my favorite journalists from cnn.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • junk1958

      Exactly.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  25. Bamaexile

    The lack of greens, dressing, and sweet potato pie has more to do with geography than black or white. My whiter than white grandmother had collards in her backyard. She made collards, cornbread dressing, lumpy potato salad, and sweet potato everything. All of the families I knew growing up in Alabama had most or all of the a for mentioned food on their Thanksgiving table. It didn't seem to matter if they were black or white...except for chittlins. This crossed racial and economic lines. In the South, the influence of African slaves on the cuisine is quite through. It is probably the single greatest influence on food in the region.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • MikeyNYC

      Now Bamaexlie, how dare you actually make sense! The author of this article could have left out all references to race and the story would be not only less offensive, but more intelligent as well. I also never realized that one's race determines which recipe you may use. I would have thought that someone who is black would attempt to avoid generalizations, not be their champion. The author could have removed all references to race from his story and it wouldn't have changed the meaning in the least. It could have been a wonderful narrative pointing out how different families from different parts of the country may observe a holiday in different ways. Instead, the author feels the need to make it about race, which is unfortunate and unnecessary. When I attended a Thanksgiving dinner with friends of mine who happened to be black and jamaican, I found many things that were different from my Thanksgiving dining experience, but not once did I think those differences had anything to do with race, just that my friends family was from Georgia via Jamaica.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  26. Geronimo, NYC

    This article stinks. Please dont mention or give us any hint if you are gay. But you have already done it...you stink.
    I am going to throw up.
    CNN sucks, but cant help reading it.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Disappointed in NJ

      Really Geronimo, NYC? You're complaint with this article is that the author mentioned that he was in a relationship with another man? Really?

      There is a small bio on the author aobve the start of this article that clearly spells out the fact that he is gay. Perhaps if you were paying more attention you could have avoided this article all together. And spared the rest of us your intolerance.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
      • Geronimo, NYC

        You dont understand, I hate gays not lesbians

        November 16, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • AGuest9

      Just because you can't handle it isn't a problem for the rest of us. Maybe you are just bothered because he makes himself look more like you, and you can't handle that. You know – NORMAL.

      LZ did a good job. He made it more about missing his family's traditions (and food) on the holiday, than about having a same-s.ex partner. Without that little difference, this story is no different than when anyone goes to celebrate the holidays with their significant other's family for the first time. Why isn't it like home? It is, it's just someone else's home.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  27. Big D

    I'm beginning to think that most of you didn't even read the article....

    November 16, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Jello sucks but you don't

      Bingo!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Mike D

      I believe you are exactly right!!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Kimberly

      I was thinking the same thing.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Nivlag

      Amen. They see 'White People' and immediately think it's going to be an insult and can't hear anything else. They've obviously never read anything from Granderson to know that he is taking responsibility for his own culturally-conditioned conversation in his head with regard to 'how things should be at Thanksgiving'. He's relating what was the unconscious conversation in his head that he carried in there and how it changed.

      Obviously, the knee-jerk response of many of these replies shows that they aren't looking at what is their own unconscious conversation when it comes to race, culture and tradition. Take the racial element out of the article, (which I don't think one should), and we all still have expectations about how our traditional meals and rituals should look, smell and feel.

      We all have ideas of how things should be, that unnoticed, get in the way of experiencing novel, amazing and beautiful aspects of life, like new people and cultures.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  28. RiadaKram

    Why does a bunch of sticks get space for this tripe?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  29. Tee

    CNN has lost all credibility by hiring these racist column writers.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Jose

      You are absolutely right!!!!! But it's racism coming from a Black man. He is well within his rights.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • geeeno

      i hope cnn hires a lot more racist writers because, it seems, a lot of people here need to read more of them.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • steve

      seriously, you completely missed the point of the article.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  30. dont ask

    LZ (sigh). Why did you have to go and make this a black and white thing?

    November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  31. The Guru

    Look I am black and I grew up in Los Angeles California I have cool white friends, Asian friends, Samoan friends, Hispanic friends...etc...and I have eaten with each of them during thanksgiving good food is good food regardless of "RACE" so Granderson is a loser for even tying the too together! One has none to do with the other and his ignorance about cultural diversity is clearly evident. I have met whites who hated me because I was black, I have met Asians who hated me because I was black, I have met Blacks that didn’t like me because I was have light skin..etc...so at the end of the day there are A**holes in every race! The real question we all should be asking is when are they Politicians gonna stop worrying about their pockets and work on getting America’s debt under control and restoring jobs opposed to sending them overseas...IM JUST SAYING..

    November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • deanna1

      Guru, Wow! I can relate to you but, then again I too am from Los Angeles, I'm not so sure the article was necessarily negative about white vs black. I think what was written was to say, I'm used to this way its all I know but, now I've expanded my horizon and this is what I'm seeing and for once I can see many different ways of life with many races. One can see more if they travel, even if its to the southern states, or to Maine for instance, all states have different customs as its ppl who live in these states. Some states like LA are French, so you would have that culture and on and on across America. I started dating an Italian and when I sat down to eat. a whole new world appeared, I took an Italian class with a teacher who arrived in the USA but a few yrs before, her Mother cooked up a 6 course meal that blew us all away. Eat eat eat..she kept shouting. So, you see its good to get out of one's comfort zone once in a while and expand your horizon and that goes for all races. Education is good but living 'real life' is better!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  32. Brandon White

    I wonder what would happen to CNN and it's physical location if someone made a column called "My first Thanksgiving with black people" Unless you call me Caucasian, you don't get to have me call you African American. It stinks from both sides, it's just your own S*#t doesn't. This article is a proof of who real racists are.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Open-Minded

      Go crawl back in your hole, you moron. People trying to find racism in everything come across as inherently racist themselves.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • tis I

      Exactly what I was thinking! It will never happen, and I find this so infuriating. Besides that, LZ is a journalist and should know not to end sentences in prepositions. Not only is the gist distasteful, it is incorrectly written!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Darryl

      Only in the US do we have the black/white issue. In Africa – I was the white friend. And we had no problems with that. In Latin America, blacks are blacks. Not having grown up in the US, I guess my perspective is different – but I think the whole white/black terminology is an old politically motivated issue coming from the NAACP and it should all go away. In the end we are all Americans. My wife was surprised when I brought home a friend from the office that I had been talking about for months – it seems I forgot to mention he was black in all my conversations....I never thought it was important and neither did my wife (She is from TX in case u are wondering), she was just surprised because I guess the common thing back then in 1996 was to mention the race...

      November 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • deanna1

        Darryl, I'm sure she would have been surprised with any 'other' race, asian, hispanic, or whatever, when most ppl think of your friends, they always think of the same race. I realized living in Los Angeles that the folks I'd hang with were of 'all races' and I don't think any of us thought anything about it. We were all friends just with different skin color, it was only when I moved did I run into others badmouthing different races, I was actually shocked, after a while I realized its out of ignorance and fear they spout off this way. There world becomes so much smaller.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • vince86

      I would love to read that article.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  33. Karrie

    LOL. Great article. I'm feel'in ya here.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  34. deee

    Paprika tastes great on Potato Salad. Didn't know this dude is gay.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • deanna1

      deee, the article doesn't say he's gay, its the paragraph above the article that the gay and lebians gave out awards that would indicate he is gay. One wonders if this group only gives awards to their own kind.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:28 am |
      • Chris

        "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."

        That bit of paragraph pretty much says he's gay.

        November 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  35. Casinator

    slow news day? who cares about this stuff?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  36. LZ

    I apologize for this horrible article. People, such as myself are poison to race relations and play double standard games all the time. Imagine the backlash if one of my colleagues made a "My first thanksgiving with black people article". I add nothing to CNN and let's hope for the good of race relations I get fired.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Mary

      I for one would very much enjoy the "other side of the coin" story, it would probably be pretty funny!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Scott

      Thank you for your sincere honesty, LZ.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • tis I

      You should send this to LZ's editor. Funny!

      November 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Jumbi

      Who cares if LZ is gay or not, that isn't the point of the article. If you have half a brain and can understand what he's trying to say, you'll realize this article isn't about racism at all. If my understanding of what he's saying is correct, it's putting yourself outside of your comfort box to truely apprectiate all cultural differences. Great article LZ.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Seriously

      People sure like to criticize. I very much enjoy your articles, your humor and your point of view.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  37. Erin

    I thought this article was pretty interesting. If you take an anthropological look at it he's just experiencing a different culture group's version of Thanksgiving. He's expanding his world view. But haters are going to hate I guess.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Tee

      People hate racism. Deal with it.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  38. Cheri

    People, take a pill and a deep breathe. He is writing about HIS expereince with a then boyfriend who was white. He was comparing the dinner to HIS family's thanksgiving dinner. Yes, we tend to generalized what is "black" & what is "white", but then we mature ... we grow up. Just read the article for what it is: diversity and growth.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • tis I

      I think the point is that this is acceptable. Were it written by a white guy about his first Thanksgiving with black people Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be like sharks on chum.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  39. Robin

    What about winter holiday dishes for your families (I specifically did not include a particular holiday because there are several that are celebrated during the month of December). I would love to hear how others celebrate with special dishes. I'm of German, Norwegian and Welsh decent but we have Lasagna. I think that tradition started because everyone was sick of turkey from Thanksgiving and we have family members who are allergic to pork so ham is out. Though every year I try to pick a new recipe to try out from a different culture to add to our table of food. This year I am thinking about adding tempura. I also like to make fusion foods. I have a chili recipe I created that adds the flavors of Jaimacan jerk seasoning.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Kleentx

      Everyone needs to try Tamales at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'd never had them until I spent my first Thanksgiving with my husband's family. Everyone was involved in the tamale-making assembly line. My MIL made hers with a shredded port roast and venison mixture. Since she passed away over 25 yrs ago, I've never had any tamales since that tasted as good as hers.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  40. antigay

    was probably upset that there was no KY Jelly there either.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Faithful

      Why are you spewing hate on an article giving thanks for cultural diversity...read the article and open you mind

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  41. stealthycat

    keep calling people by their skin color ........ got to keep those fires of racism hot and burning don't you?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Mary

      I think his columns are fun – its refreshing to be able to celebrate and enjoy cultural differences without being afraid to insult someone.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
      • aslongasitsawhiteguy

        "...without being afraid to insult someone." You mean, without being afraid to insult white people.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • deanna1

      of course, its all about 'power' 'in the end....United, I'm afraid is yesterday

      November 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  42. Rod C. Venger

    Having greens or chitlins or that other stuff that passes for food at Thanksgiving is meaningless. Why? Because it can be had at any time. Thankgiving is when we cook up those foods that we generally don't have at any other time. Except maybe the repeat at Christmas. Point is, when you eat greens all year long, what's special about greens at Thanksgiving? Nuttin. Turkey, stuffing (or dressing if you cook it in a bowl instead of the gird), cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, big bowls of walnuts, pecans, almonds, kneegrois toes, hazelnuts...potatoes (mashed or otherwise) different gravies...that's Thanksgiving. everyone gets together and eats what they haven't been eating three times a week all year long. Why do you suppose we overeat?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • LPowers

      It is a bit sad if you believe that Thanksgiving is only about the type of food being eating....perhaps shallow is a better adjective.

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

      I cANNOT BELIEVE you just called Brazil nuts "kneegrois toes", which is an awfully cute spelling, jerk.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  43. Mary

    We don't cook these things because our non-caucasian friends hoard the recipes! C'mon, give them up. We already discovered Red Velvet Cake, so the secret is out. Might as well give us white folks the rest.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  44. Susan

    We cant even mention Watermelon in the same vein--seriously!!! LOL Whats up with that anyway? I like Watermelon :)

    November 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  45. Brian

    This has to be one of the most worthless things I have ever read. Wow. CNN actually pays this person to write for their website? This is nothing but an amatuer blog post.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • David

      Uh, it IS a blog? lol

      November 16, 2011 at 11:12 am |
      • Brian

        That's my point jacka**. That's why it's so absurd to me that CNN pays him to write this crap.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  46. Dan

    Nice article.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  47. SpaceyStacey

    i hears them whites has a different kinda pie? but no weeds from out back to eat and whats this here indoors pulmbing thing all about?

    Really?

    November 16, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  48. hatefulhappy

    Maybe if black people didnt eat all that crap more than half of them wouldnt be overweight by 30.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • JLC

      You are so ignorant!!! Most of my relatives through marriage (white) are over weight! Just a little history for you: During slavery days the Slave Owner would feed this "crap" (chitllins) to their slaves. Slaves came up with a way to make it taste half way decent because that's all they were going to get. Also, the last time I checked greens and potatoes are consumed by EVERYONE

      November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am |
      • testical

        Sheeet mother pucker..

        November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  49. reese

    I went to a white person thanksgiving, my auntie rich friend. and everything was store bought nasty I left...but the lady was grieving her husband...but still dam ru serious...STORE BOUGHT!!! smdh...white ppl...can't live with em can't live without em

    November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • SpaceyStacey

      I have many times been entertained by people whos food was not up to my standard, But I ate it with a smile and graciously accepted their modest hospitality, to leave because the food isn't good enough is very rude indeed, especially since she was in mourning.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Jared

      Perhaps it would have been better if you'd made something and brought it with you.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
      • SpaceyStacey

        Maybe thats a "white" thing, calling ahead, making sure they don't need anything, offering help and support.....

        November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am |
      • reese

        no its actually a white thing to be hateful and feel superior and to love no one but yourself...store bought is a perfect way to describe white ppl...TASTELESS THOUGHTLESS AND COLD

        November 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |
      • SpaceyStacey

        If being a gracious guest is a "white thing" than I am so glad I am white, you were invited to meal that you felt too good to be at, the food was not up to your standard, so you chose to be very rude indeed by leaving this greiving womans home.

        November 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  50. Nick Gerz

    This writer is about as black as Bryant Gumbel

    November 16, 2011 at 10:50 am |
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