What Thanksgiving Has Meant to Me for a Very Long Time (Thoughts After the Holiday)

by on November 29, 2022 · 4 comments

in From the Soul

By Ernie McCray

I’ve always taken
Thanksgiving Day
as a time to be thankful,
to be grateful
for just being,
having nothing to do
with colonizing Pilgrims
breaking bread with Indians
or any such thing
and as I look back at my memories
of Thanksgiving
with my family
I can see my granddaddy
asking God to bless our food
and when he was through
we were diving into
the most delicious
turkey and ham
and collard greens,
mash potatoes
and candied yams
and scrumptious sweet potato pies
and the more we dined
the more we came alive,
going on about
a little of everything:
Joe Louis,
our hero,
knocking White folks out
in the boxing ring,
how that Nat King Cole
could really sing,
crap we had to deal with
in the name of Jim Crow,
wondering out loud
if life in America
would ever be better
for Negroes,
if FDR was more like
such a reality might become so,
but it’s the letting go
that I remember the most,
the moments when we’d practically
fall to the floor,
holding our sides,
laughing with and at each other,
laughing at the boss man
who, in these moments,
is the biggest buffoon
in the land,
laughing at the day Rusty,
the mean dog across the street,
nearly pulled the pants off
the mailman,
laughing at something
Kingfish said to Sapphire on the
Amos n Andy Radio Show
years before such negative portrayals
of Black folks
were considered a No-No.

However, those were our times
and we learn and we grow
but in those moments
we were enjoying
being together
as a family
with no expectations of anyone
other than
a willingness
to have a lot of fun,
a good time.

We knew that come Monday
it was back to the grind
but we were ever so grateful for
having a day
to dine
and unwind.

Such is what Thanksgiving
has meant to me
for a very long time.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley November 30, 2022 at 6:33 pm

Oh, those were definitely the “good ole days!” So much change—so much the same. Family helps us stay centered in what matters.


Frank Gormlie November 30, 2022 at 7:00 pm

Shirley, you’ve been in the news lately. What’s that all about?


Thomas L Gayton November 30, 2022 at 7:10 pm



BARBARA LEWIS December 6, 2022 at 1:38 pm

I can see your Thanksgiving, can hear it, can smell it and certainly can relate to it…Thank you for preserving those wonderful memories on paper..now on to Christmas!


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