My Black Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the time for sharing moments with your loved ones as you express your thankfulness for your family and the delicious food that lies in wait to eat. My Thanksgiving is all of that with a dash of black people magic to make it memorable. This is the story of how my Thanksgiving turns out each year.

First, I'm freed from the whelms of school as I hurry home to my family all packed up and ready to go to my homeland: Miami. There, we stay with my Grandma who we always find camped out in her kitchen prepping every dish you could think of!

As we say our hello’s to everyone who arrived before us, the fun really starts to begin. My siblings and I separate into our cousin divided age groups to catch up on everything we've missed since we're the only ones who have moved outside of Miami. I'm the only 20-year-old, so I'm gifted with the choice to group with the older or younger peeps, depending on how I’m feeling in the moment. (Sometimes I do a coin toss!) Each group delves into the conversation of school, crushes and the amount of my aunt’s meatballs we’re hoping to eat that year, all the while blasting music and doing whatever dance is popular at the time.

After the cousins catch up, we take the party into the den where all of my aunts and uncles have gathered. This is where I receive the infamous “How’s school?” and “Are you getting good grades?” questions that I love to answer as quickly as possible so that I can talk about anything other than school on my few days off.

In my family, Thanksgiving dinner is just that: dinner. This means we don’t eat until the sun goes down and after my Grandpa has given his final nod of approval. When that happens, we all gather around the table and select who will lead us in prayer that year. When the final “Amen” is spoken, it's time to grab a plate and go for it!

I am by far the pickiest eater in my family, so my plate only ever consists of turkey, ham and mashed potatoes, all of which are the best dishes when it comes to Thanksgiving in my opinion. But I love seeing all of the food laid out. My family is Haitian, so we always make sure to include our favorite dishes like griot and pate, alongside the typical foods.

The dinner table is where everyone of all ages comes together and we talk about everything. It’s where my older sister brought her boyfriend for the first time. Where my soon-to-be uncle got approval from the family. Where I get the honor of being compared to my brilliant older cousin. Where my dad tells the stories of his glory days. Where my mom’s famous sweet potato pie is fawned over. Where my older brother speaks of crazy conspiracy theories that are all too convincing. Where my younger sister makes faces across the table that only we can understand. Where my younger brother does a dance that is only funny when he does it. And where I always realize that my black Thanksgiving is everything that I could hope for and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

All GIFs courtesy of Tenor.