Some retailers are beginning to worry if the Christmas holiday shopping season is gonna be a boom or bust. There’s been news of supply chain issues and ships stuck at sea waiting to be unloaded. One test-case for the holiday season will be the Black Friday gift-buying grab. But first there’s Thanksgiving Day when many families sit around the table for a big meal.
This American traditional feast was supposedly started not long after the pilgrims set foot on New England shore. Before they arrived, a local indigenous tribe celebrated the occasion as a feast of thanks-giving for the harvest. Then they invited the pilgrims to their feast. The pilgrims liked the idea and adopted it as Thanksgiving for safe passage from Europe. Over the years it grew in appeal and during the brutal years of the Civil War, President Lincoln kinda made it “certified official” as an American holiday custom.
It’s a big part of the kickoff to the end-of-year holiday season. It’s also a great time to hangout with family and friends with food, football and lively spirits to go along. So, at first it went from an indigenous custom to a pilgrim and Native American occasion for coming together. Not sure what has the potential to do that now, considering the culture war climate that exists. As if the vaccine debate wasn’t enough, the drama has spilled over into municipal workers as well as public education around how we learn history.
But what some miss as a takeaway from the first sit-down between the native tribe and the pilgrims might be a lesson for all the “tribe talk” in today’s socio-political world. It’s a hard concept to grasp these days when you hear all the squabbles on the election campaign trail or some cable news tale. The OG native Americans were open to the idea of “think self but beyond self.” Interestingly, this idea might also have been a test-case for America’s future in how it handled the sharing of opportunity, inalienable rights and economic benefits with all its citizens. We see that struggle even today with public policy negotiations.
SAIC’s deep-dive in American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and #HometownStrong comebacks revealed something else about the pilgrims. They were “sick & tired” of the social/religious climate at home. So they took the journey from England to America which speaks to how to “walk in your calling” and have a strong voice in the streets or corporate suites. This might even cause us to ask, “what is America’s True Calling?” The process of answering that question has been folded into SAIC as a social-edge campaign and platform. America’s true calling is not simply about advocating for democracy or defending human rights or promoting fair trade. But more for real it’s about how we engage our:
1. Better Angels
During the early part of the Civil War, Lincoln had a major decision to make. Was he for abolishing slavery or for saving the Union? Initially, it was more the latter. He really didn’t want southern states to break-away from the US. He asked folks to think about a more “eternal reason” for keeping the union in tack. In his first inaugural address he called on the nation to summon the “better angels of our nature.” That’s one way to understand the idea of “walking in your calling” or appreciating how Lincoln may have been trying to connect America to its True Calling.
2. Shared Purpose
Every year on Thanksgiving morning, families look forward to the holiday parade. It’s an event for the kids who enjoy seeing the balloons high in the air. It’s also enjoyed by parents, because maybe it’s a reminder of younger days feeling full of wonder. The idea of parades and marching bands is good ol’ American apple pie, with a great feeling of excitement in coming together. That’s what SAIC with its framework, focus, functions and features represents. It’s about bringing a feeling of excitement and wonder in coming together for a shared purpose.
3. Civic Renewal
Throughout history, America has seen many rounds of turmoil and strife. There were rebellions that shook the powers-that-be when it came to abolishing slavery. Fannie Lou Hamer was the first to coin the term “sick & tired of being sick & tired” but there were others who understood that feeling. They reached the point of having seen enough, so they took steps to make change or make a difference. While Hamer had an unsuccessful run for congress, that didn’t stop her from “walking in her calling.” Her actions led to the civil rights movement taking shape in the south. In a sense, it was her investment in civic renewal.
4. Public Good
In the process of getting an education, we graduate by completing a certain number of credits. That means we’ve earned some level of knowledge and understanding in an area that will serve us well later in life. That’s true whether going on from high school to college or vo-tech, or from college to a professional career. If what we do with academics prepares us for a life in biz or career, then what we do in civics can prepare us for a life of public-good. SAIC’s vision around ‘smart civics’ is about how we achieve a more socially healthy way of life towards public-good.
W.E.B. Dubois wrote in his book and was also quoted in a speech saying, “The problem of the twentieth century is the color-line.” Well for America, SAIC believes the challenge in the twenty-first century is the color-stream. As a family, when we watch the social issues unfold, we gotta get away from seeing history as a projection stream of “white light” (the way a black & white TV works), to seeing history as projection streams of “colored light” (read, green and blue, the way a color TV works). In combining American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and #HometownStrong comebacks, just imagine how much of a better picture we’ll have of civic/social issues for a higher level or citizenship?
You can join the conversation and support our efforts with SAICs “Dear America 2021” Letters and Impact Statement at the Facebook ‘Hometown Chat’ Page here http://www.Facebook.com/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Emeli Sandé – Family – https://youtu.be/vsGSo5XMDQQ
Common – Imagine (Live Session) – https://youtu.be/vP6cDIyLPEk
Men’s Panel, Thursday 11/11/21 6:30pm ET. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvf-qopzMpHNd1QvbuSaiDHD0erMZ9NmNe
Women’s Panel, 11/15/21 6:30pm ET. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModuqhrz8iHNYTL9Fmh-IChQ-ihMCTNaS9