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Thanksgiving is approaching and I am conscious of this fact as my American friend who lives in London is keen to celebrate it. As a Brit, I’m clueless as to its meaning and need. Is it an American Christmas — a half-way one, perhaps; is it saying thank you to everyone who has done something for you; is it filling your table with mouth-watering, diligently prepared roasts while basking in the glow of your loved ones? I switched on my laptop and began my research. After reading articles from various sources, I settled on a piece on It was an insightful article, one that used the words ‘explorative expedition’, ‘Pilgrims’, ‘ settlers’ and in the same line ‘colonists’. Immediately I knew something was amiss. The piece, to me, read like a lesson on how to write euphemism. I couldn’t evade the nagging feeling that a vital part of the Thanksgiving story — its birth is long-buried with the perpetrators. Perhaps being West African and knowing the consequence of slavery on the continent and Britain’s ostensible purity of it, made me suspect omission of something sinister. All holidays have origin stories — some seemingly innocuous, hide an iniquitous past. …


Llyrio Boateng

British writer/director

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