Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #11: Thanksgiving Is Racist as Hell


It’s long past time to explode some myths about Indigenous Peoples, whites and Thanksgiving. For many of us in the US, Thanksgiving has become a day to reunite with friends and family, watch football and gorge ourselves on an enormous feast. Giving thanks has taken a back seat and the truth about the massacres and sacrifices of Indigenous Peoples has been almost entirely erased. This Thanksgiving season, take a little time to learn the real history of the holiday and an accurate history of our Indigenous Peoples. Let us consider their efforts to shine a light on how the current version of the holiday demeans and diminishes them. If you want to keep celebrating the holiday and enjoying the meal, how about shifting the focus to celebrating Indigenous Peoples? What if we made the fourth Thursday in November a day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples instead of continuing myths about the whites who came and massacred them? Instead of ignoring genocide? This year, serve a little scoop of truth with your pumpkin pie.

This list of books, essays, articles and speeches includes resources for all ages.

Reading Mixtape Header

  1. 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neill Grace
  2. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp
  3. Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
  4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  5. Thanksgiving: A National Day of Mourning for Indians by Moonanum James, Mahtowin Munro
  6. Statements of Leonard Peltier to National Day of Mourning by Leonard Peltier
  7. Hundreds of American Indians To Gather on Alcatraz Island for (UN)Thanksgiving Day Sunrise Ceremony by Levi Rickert
  8. Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday by James W. Baker
  9. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz




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Original logo art by Esme Blegvad.

Anna March’s writing appears regularly in Salon and here at the Rumpus and her work has been widely published including in The New York Times' Modern Love Column, New York Magazine, VQR, Hip Mama and Tin House. Her essay collection, Feminist Killjoy, and novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank, are both forthcoming and she is at work on two new books. She teaches writing workshops, mentors writers, is active in promoting literary community and is the co-founder of LITFOLKS in LA and DC. She lives in Rehoboth Beach and Los Angeles. Sometimes she has pink hair. Follow her on Twitter @ANNAMARCH or learn more about her at ANNAMARCH.COM. More from this author →