- Faith & Family
The holiday season is now upon us but instead of pausing to consider what gospel great Kirk Franklin calls, “the reason for the season,” the emphasis appears to be on getting shoppers to invade local malls earlier than ever before and at every possible moment. Of course, shopping is only something you can do if you have a few extra dollars. Given the large number of men, women and young adults that are currently unemployed or piecing together several part-time jobs just to survive, a visit to the mall probably invokes more anxiety and depression instead of joy.
Thanksgiving Day is here once again but some may find it hard to give thanks this season. We may have forgotten America’s “fable” about Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting together peacefully for a celebratory meal and an after-dinner smoke on the peace pipe. But we can each give thanks for being alive — we are still “vertical and ventilating.” We can give thanks because we have one more chance to tell someone we love them or that we appreciate their acts of kindness — like that best friend who encourages you in spite of yourself.
Blacks in particular are used to making it with less. We have been the ones who are usually the last hired and first fired. We have been the ones who were denied the job or refused the loan and had no one to whom we could complain. Still, we have found something good within the bad and therefore another reason to give thanks.
In Liberty City, Little Haiti, Miami Gardens and Opa-locka, we continue to face senseless drive-by shootings of innocent children, murders of unarmed men at the hands of police officers and record-high foreclosures resulting in homelessness for formerly hard-working families. Still we find reasons to give thanks. Perhaps it is the resilience that we have inherited from our ancestors. Blacks who live in the U.S. are descendants of men and women who somehow survived unimaginable hardship in their forced travel across the seas. But we are still here. We have survived. And that is reason enough to give thanks.