The aroma of turkey, macaroni, collard greens, candied yams, and apple pies fills the atmosphere as families gather to give thanks. A favorite holiday for many students is a week away: Thanksgiving!
A major difference in this Thanksgiving will be the conversations flowing at the table. There will be a plethora of topics to discuss as the year 2020 has been very eventful. Every family no matter race, religion, nationality or tax bracket has been affected. The election, the pandemic, police brutality, ongoing protest and stimulus check talks are all likely to emerge in conversation.
As uncomfortable as the topics may be, these issues are happening around us and should be discussed.
As a result of police brutality, there has been a spike in protests, particularly here in Tallahassee. More students are standing up to make sure their voices are heard.
“This is war. We are not standing down anymore … because you are literally telling me every day this is war against my skin, war against my body,” a FAMU Alum and activist, Tesia Lisbon, said at a protest in September. This occurred a day after a grand jury failed to indict TPD officers for using lethal force.
Every individual holds their own experience, offering a new perspective to consider. Over the holiday break, an effective way to communicate with family is by understanding that everyone has a unique way of thinking.
“My family and I debate on different topics on a daily basis, and this Thanksgiving will be no different,” fourth-year business administration student, Kadasjah Pope said. “We all make our viewpoints clear and agree to disagree when needed. My mom felt the campus should remain closed while I am in favor of the possibility for it to reopen.”
There are many families that will unite to carry out traditions and there are others who are forced to celebrate alone due to either monetary issues or the pandemic. In addition to students who live far, those who have pre-existing health conditions are advised to remain quarantined to reduce the possibility of contracting COVID-19. This is devastating to many because some members will have to miss out on the festivities physically. Fortunately, virtual zoom celebrations have become a more common alternative.
Jasmine Hudson, a graduating senior and psychology major with an international relations minor, will be returning home during the holidays.
“It is important to have these conversations,” Hudson said. “I want to educate my younger cousins and family members on the importance of voting and standing your ground, especially if you see something that needs to be spoken about! Be the change you want to see happen.”
Despite a hectic year filled with conflict and losses, there are many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Whether celebrating together or apart, having healthy conversations about what has occurred over the last year is important as these topics have a direct impact on most families and are too blatant to ignore.