The leaders of Washington, D.C., public schools are asking families to decolonize Thanksgiving — and they need your help.
In a video posted to Facebook last week, board of education Chancellor Antwan Wilson emphasized that the late South African revolutionary Nelson Mandela called for families to share their food from the African Diaspora. That presents an opportunity to “frame and create a discussion around, what are some of the ways in which we can create new narratives around this month of celebration,” he said.
There’s even a hashtag: #ReconciliatingThanksgiving.
Wilson points out that the city has 25 percent of the country’s immigrant populations, and many of the city’s refugees and immigrants have immigrated to serve us.
“To be honest, I think most of us as D.C. residents know that — and really understand that — [this] week represents a part of our collective story as well,” he said.
The video’s content echoes another, shorter video posted earlier this year that urged families to embrace different traditions, including some that celebrate African roots. In that video, Wilson noted that Washington, D.C., is home to multiple religious institutions where different Abrahamic traditions are celebrated.