Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks While the World Burns: A 2019 Thanksgiving Special by Sophia Ned-James


For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a special time where family and friends gather for fellowship, football, and food.

Yes, we Black folks also acknowledge the repugnant truths behind this problematic holiday, with its white supremacist, genocidal beginnings. That’s why we don’t even tell that tired old revisionist story about the pilgrims anymore. Or if we do, we make sure to tell the truth and shame the devil!

For us, the holiday is really a chance to pause and reflect on all our blessings. It allows us to focus on the good things in our lives for a change, which can be a real challenge these days (more on that in a minute). Even if you’re the type who counts your blessings every day, there’s just something extra special about setting aside a specific day to do so with your loved ones.

Also, the food is amazing! Seriously, can’t nobody do Thanksgiving like Black folks.

But to be honest, I’m struggling to get into a thankful mood this year. And I know I’m not alone. From the social media posts I’ve read and the conversations I’ve had, the state of the world has got everyone feeling some type of way.

Can you blame us, though? I mean, we Americans are going into our 3rd year of the worst presidency in our nation’s history. And even if 45’s ultimately impeached by the House of Representatives, the chances that he’ll be removed from office by the Republican-led Senate are slim to none. It’s hard to feel grateful when you live in a country with an unhinged criminal at the helm of a corrupt and racist administration.

Even if you set aside the fact that our democracy is in peril, things are still pretty bad, especially if you’re Black and a woman. Our voting rights, civil rights, and reproductive rights are under vicious attack. White supremacist misogynists have been emboldened by our so-called leaders, putting all of our lives at risk. And despite being the most educated demographic in the country, Black women still only earn $.61 for every $1 a white man earns.

And don’t even get me started on how Black girls’ hair is heavily policed in school; the same school where they get punished harder and more often than white girls. Meanwhile, they’re also overly-sexualized and abused at higher rates than white girls.

Family separations happen at our southern borders, where (and I can’t even believe I’m typing these words) babies are kept in cages. Domestic and intimate partner violence is on the rise, as are sexual assaults and rapes. Sex trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business, and is growing. Too many of our families suffer from food and housing insecurity and soul-crushing poverty; while at the same time, we have billionaires who pay little to no income taxes.

On top of all of that, we’ve abused our planet so badly that we’re witnessing, first-hand, the effects of climate change with deadlier weather events and contaminated water. Add to all of the above, the growing number of raging wildfires, our world is literally burning down around us!

So how can we, as Black American women, still feel real gratitude on Thanksgiving Day this year? How can we find thankfulness in our hearts when our hearts get broken every damn day in this country?

Yes, we’ll dutifully bear the brunt of the cooking and planning for our families, and we’ll even enjoy it. We’ll watch football, catch up with our loved ones, play some cards, dance to some old-school jams, and laugh til our bellies ache. We’ll do all this because that is what we do. We persevere. We fight on. We feed our families, and we make the best of it.

Black women have made “getting it done in the face of adversity” an art form, but we’re still human. We still hurt. We still experience pain and heartbreak.

So if you’re struggling to be thankful this Thanksgiving, you’re not alone and you shouldn’t feel bad. But no matter how bad things are, there’s always something to be thankful for.

Here are a few reminders of your reasons to feel and express gratitude:

  1. You’re Alive! Listen. Despite everything you’re going through, you’re still here. You woke up this morning when a lot of other folks didn’t. And even though you may have some health challenges here, and a few more aches and pains there, you are alive. Always be grateful for life.
  2. You’re Loved! Even if you’re currently single and don’t have the romantic love you long for, revel in the fact that you are loved by someone. Your family loves you. Your friends love you. And of course, God loves you. Even if your loved ones have gone on to Glory, their love for you remains forever. Never forget that you’re loved.
  3. Your People! Whether it’s your family or your friends, you are blessed with loved ones with whom you can truly be yourself. These are your people, and you’re as lucky to have them as they are to have you. Even if you don’t have healthy relationships with your family, you’ve somehow managed, in this crazy world, to create a “family” with the people who know you, get you, and love you. That is something special, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to celebrate it.
  4. Your Talents! Everyone has something they’re good at, whether they have the chance to utilize those talents, or not. Maybe you’re a gifted singer or sculptor. Maybe you’re the best cook in the family. Maybe you have the gift of being able to bring people together to accomplish a goal or complete a mission. Or maybe you’re really good at sales and marketing. Whatever you’re good at is a talent gifted just to you. So flaunt it. Explore and expand it. Share it with the world! But most importantly, be humbly grateful for it because no one else on the planet can do what you do the way that you do it.
  5. Your Hustle! You may already have your dream career (lucky you!), or you may just be working a job to pay the bills. Whatever it is you do, be thankful you have something. Your hustle may barely make ends meet now, but your basic needs are still being met. Even if you want to cuss out your boss, be happy you have a gig.

If things are hard for you right now, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. These are truly the times that test our souls. But so far, you’ve survived every single bad day that’s come your way.

So please remember that you have much to be thankful for, and try to enjoy the time you spend with your loved ones. Even if you’re flying solo this Thanksgiving, be grateful that you’re still here and still you … even as the world burns down around you.





Thanksgiving Quotes By Black Women Poets

Celebrating Thanksginvg

Happy Thanksgiving.

Whether or not you’re eating turkey today, be inspired and uplifted by these quotes from Black women poets who believe in us.

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.
Maya Angelou

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.
Alice Walker

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Audre Lorde

Perhaps, the problem is not the intensity of your love, but the quality of the people you are loving.
Warsan Shire

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
Maya Angelou

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

And if sun comes / How shall we greet him? / Shall we not dread him, / Shall we not fear him / After so lengthy a / Session with shade?
Gwendolyn Brooks

You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Elizabeth Alexander

Come celebrate with me that every day something has tried to kill me and has failed.
Lucille Clifton

There are people who dislike you because you do not dislike yourself.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.
Alice Walker

Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at the sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.
Zora Neale Hurston

To be a colored man in America … and enjoy it, you must be greatly daring, greatly stolid, greatly humorous and greatly sensitive. And at all times a philosopher.
Jessie Redmon Fauset

I am too many flavors for one f***ing spoon.
I want to erase the lines so I can be me.
If we do not speak, who will?
Staceyann Chin

Light attracts light. But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy
Warsan Shire

Be present in all things and thankful for all things.
Maya Angelou

Happy Thanksgiving!


The Patti Labelle Pie – One Of 5 Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!   When it comes to relationships, pleasure, and sexual and reproductive health, here are 5 reasons to give thanks this season, including the Patti LaBelle Pie:

  1. The gravy that has poured over your life this year. If you really think about it. A lot of goodness has poured over your life.  Go ahead. Celebrate and pour some more gravy over that turkey this holiday and enjoy. Sure, you’ve had some hard times. But, you’ve made it through. Life is good. Give thanks and be grateful. Reflect on what God has given you. And when it comes to sexual pleasure, Sophia gave us a good list last year we can use again this year to remember what we’re grateful for.
  2. Getting rid of all the turkeys  – Take time to reflect on the relationships you’ve had over the last year. Pat yourself on the back if you were able to shed those unhealthy people, especially if they were abusive. Give thanks for those relationships that have sustained you over the year – including that special man who always knows the right thing to say – and do – to please you.  If you’re still working out a relationship that’s not just right, take a deep breath and stay strong.
  3. The dressing and stuffing that keep you going. Sure, it’s all about the turkey during Thanksgiving.  But, what’s turkey without the stuffing – or dressing for our sista’s in the south.  God gives us our daily bread. And it’s bread that allows us to make stuffing. Give thanks for the ordinary as well as the special. Remember that praise or bonus you got this year in the boardroom – and the bedroom.  Thank the friend who kept you laughing during the tough times. Acknowledge the colleague who had your back during office disputes and the neighbor who looked  after your pet when you were away. Keeping God at the center of our lives allows us to be balanced and also find the dressing on our everyday plates of life.
  4. Pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin spice make everything nice Last month, Lillian reminded us that fall is the season to embrace everything pumpkiny. Who can say no to pumpkin lattes or pumpkin and sweet potato pie? No one. Give thanks for pumpkin seeds and sweet potatoes that are good for vaginal health. Yes, right up there with yogurt and cranberry juice, pumpkin seeds and sweet potatoes are good for the vajajay. That zinc from pumpkin seeds help work your menstrual cycle and regulate your hormones and mood. Sweet potatoes are chock full of vitamin A for strong and vibrant vaginal walls.  More pleasure for the holidays. But, don’t get it twisted. Pumpkin spice is for pie and candles. Not douches. Remember Saturday Night Live’s parody of Autumn Eve Pumpkin Spice Douche. No matter how much pleasure the holiday season may bring, douches are not the way to keep it fresh.
  5. The Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pie.  Found at Walmart and now apparently on ebay, this pie is a testimony to the strength and sweetness of Black women’s lives. The Patti Labelle sweet potato pie and what it means in Black American culture – especially over the holidays –  has gone viral. Celebrate. Go ahead and have another sweet slice of pie of life



Sophia’s Grown & Sexy Thanksgiving 2014 – SIZZLE WITH SOPHIA

Even though I try to practice gratitude year-round, I think it’s well and good that we take a special day every year to pause and give thanks for all the good in our lives.  That’s why I’m a huge fan of Thanksgiving!

But, as much as I love spending time with family and friends over a delicious meal, I’m also pretty thankful for sexual health and pleasure!  And y’all know me.  Ain’t no shame in my game!  That’s why I’ve put together Sophia’s Grown & Sexy Thanksgiving List for 2014!  Feel free to add to this in the comment section below.

  1. Smart Men – Smart men are sexy! In my younger, wilder days, I could put up with dumb but cute guys.  Not anymore, though.  A cute smile, a stiff dick and a nice ass won’t get you very far these days.  I need some stimulating conversation and not just about sex.  If you can’t intelligently converse (not conversate, which is NOT a word) about current events, local politics or something deeper than the latest reality show drama, then I can’t be bothered.  You must be able to get into my head before you can get into my panties.  I am thankful for smart men.
  2. Hard Bodies – That said, I ain’t mad at the brothas who got it going on body-wise! We women are just as visual as men.  And I’m old-school.  I like a man’s hardness to compliment my soft curves.  (Shut up!  It’s not fat!  We’re calling it curves, all right?)  While we are visual, women tend to be more forgiving of men’s bodies.  And I think that’s a good thing.  We still find our Boo’s beer belly sexy and don’t mind when he’s put on a few pounds.  But we ain’t blind, either.  We can appreciate a six-pack, big biceps and thick, muscular thighs, too.  Phew!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!  I am thankful for hard bodies!
  3. The Hooded Lady – Okay, that’s just a euphemism for our crown jewel, the clitoris! This fascinating part of the female’s anatomy has twice as many nerve endings as the penis (8,000+) and is only there for one purpose: sexual pleasure.  Unlike the penis, which also serves as a liquid waste portal and reproduction organ, our clitoris serves no other biological function than our pleasure.  How cool is that?  It’s like God, in his infinite wisdom, decided that since women have to endure menstruation, the pain of childbirth and 30% less pay, we deserve our very own personal pleasure center.  And so He gave each of us a clitoris.  I am thankful for the clitoris!
  4. The G Spot – For so many women, this much-hyped spot is an elusive, almost mythical body feature. Much scientific and sociological study has been made of the G Spot, yet many women have yet to experience its amazing power.  Keep looking, ladies.  It’s there, somewhere on the top wall of your va-jay-jay.  I suspect that it’s actually a continuation of the clitoris, which goes so much further than the little tip we see on the outside of our bodies (think of that visible part as just the tip of the iceberg).  At any rate, a properly stimulated G Spot will send you to the moon and have you speaking in tongues.  I am so thankful for the G Spot!
  5. Multiple Orgasms – Sure, there are some gifted men who experience multiple orgasms in quick succession. But they are few and far between, and are often experienced in some form of tantric sex.  Trust me, your average Joe ain’t nuttin’ three or four times in a row without some serious recovery time in between.  Multiple orgasms are another Godly gift to women.  I know that not every woman is multi-orgasmic.  But every woman has the potential to be.  And that’s the important part.  There are few things more beautifully spiritual than riding wave after wave of ecstasy without pause!  I am thankful for multiple orgasms.
  6. The One-Eyed Beast – Dick.  Peter.  Call it what you like.  As a devoutly hetero woman, I have a strong and deep appreciation for that glorious member attached to the male body: the penis.  Like the TLC song says, “Two inches or a yard, rock hard or if it’s sagging”, I love the penis in its many shapes, sizes and states.  And while no woman is exactly comfortable with really tiny ones or really big ones, most dicks are just the right size and perfectly made!  Honestly, give me a smaller guy with the right moves over an enormous one who just lies there any day!  Big, small, circumcised or uncut, I love ‘em all!  I am thankful for penises.  
  7. O.B. – As much as I love penises, I don’t always have access to one. Thank goodness for my B.O.B. (Battery Operated Boyfriend)!  Woman-centered sex toys have been around for thousands of years.  But these days, thanks to the internet and a growing demand among women, the sex toy industry has grown by leaps and bounds.  Now, there’s something for everyone out there and at reasonable prices, too.  And they’re not just for lonely, horny women anymore either!  More and more couples have discovered the joys of playing with toys together.  And I love it!  Every woman should have at least three or four reliable B.O.B.s in her nightstand drawer.  Oh and tons of batteries!  I am thankful for vibrators, dildos and other sex toys.
  8. Safe Sex – In the 30+ years since the AIDS epidemic began, condom use has dramatically increased in general. But current statistics are troubling: there has been a noticeable decline in condom use, especially among young people.  Too many women of color globally are being infected.  And women of the African diaspora are disproportionately more likely to become infected with HIV/AIDS, despite all efforts to the contrary.  Access to barrier methods and other forms of contraception varies worldwide.  In the United States, we have it pretty good.  However, the political tide has shifted and it’s getting harder for low-income women to have access.  Safe sex is necessary for both our health and our pleasure.  And ladies, in this area we cannot rely on men to protect us.  It’s on us.  Practice safe sex … ALWAYS!  Educate yourself.  Arm yourself.  Protect yourself.  Save yourself.  Love yourself.  I am so thankful for safe sex!
  9. Good Sex – Let’s face it: not all sex is created equal. It’s not always pretty and it certainly ain’t always good.  But I love good sex.  I appreciate good sex.  I want everyone to have good sex!  The necessary ingredients for good sex are self-love, self-respect, and a healthy relationship with your partner which includes respect, friendship and trust.  Our biggest and most important sex organ is our brain.  Women, especially, have to “get their minds right” to truly enjoy sex.  If you love and respect yourself, you won’t engage in any activity that will ultimately harm you.  That’s half the battle right there.  The other half is your partner.  If he doesn’t respect you, he won’t make any effort towards your enjoyment.  If you don’t trust him, you’ll never really let go and have fun.  And if, regardless of your “relationship status”, the two of you aren’t friends first, then it will be hard to reach the highest heights of ecstasy together.  But when all of the ingredients are in place, you can rest assured that it’ll be all good!  I am thankful for good sex.
  10. Head – Yep, I’m gonna wrap up my list with good, old-fashioned oral sex. I recently heard some great advice from a man. He said that the best way for women to ensure fantastic sex every time is to get the man to agree to one thing: if he ain’t strokin’, he needs to be lickin’!  Of course, this elicited cheers and whistles from all women present.  But, I think he might be on to something.  And I also believe the reverse is true.  I haven’t met a man yet who would turn down even a mediocre blow job.  It’s quite simple, really: we all like being on the receiving end of some good oral loving, right?  And for the most part, we all like pleasing our partners, right?  So it stands to reason that if everyone agrees up front to offer up a little mouth and tongue action to their partner, everyone will be happy.  It’s a win-win situation!  So embrace the joys of oral sex, both as a giver and a receiver!  I am so thankful for oral sex!

So there you have it: my list of things for which I am grateful.  Please feel free to add your list in the comments below.  In the meantime, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!