First, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving weekend. For all of you out there participating in the Afro-Tech / AfroTech / AfroTeq / AfriqueTech and more black empowerment STEM movements around the world, I would like to offer some advice and suggestions on how to celebrate with your black family at the dinner table.
It is not okay to talk around your black family at Thanksgiving about technology, new processes or innovation or breakthroughs you read about. Instead, put away the mobile device and use this time to be unplugged from tech and plugged in with your family and loved ones. Just sit back to catch up and listen to your family talk and allow yourself to be grounded to remember where you came from — a black family that continues to pray together and eat together.
Instead of talking about tech, one thing you may want to do is just play either card games like Uno or Blackjack (not poker) or a board game like Monopoly to focus on math and talk about the math game while playing with your younger relatives. This is a nice sneaky way to promote STEM during Thanksgiving to the youth. If you are more daring, show your teenagers how to use a mind map or a Kanban board to organize their thoughts into stories and how to create sprints as efforts to continuously improve on their lives as they grow.
I do not recommend boyfriends/girlfriends at black family Thanksgiving gathering due to the necessary discussion of family health issues. For too many years the black family has been hush-hush about genetics and patterns of diseases and health problems that nobody finds out until everybody in their 40s and start having problems. It is important to start mentioning issues like sickle cell traits in the family, history of liver or kidney disease or alcoholism and drug abuse, high blood pressure and diabetes and sexual transmitted disease.
Do not be ashamed to talk about your past experiences where painful green booger-like discharges slowly seeped out of your penis/vagina after having reckless sex while eating at the Thanksgiving table; the teenagers need to know this. If you have flatulence problems with milk, talk about it. Some people have bad breath in their family due to dry mouth; talk about it all at the Thanksgiving table.
Don’t be like Silicon Valley where they have a disdain for diversity — black families have to accommodate the diversity of meal offerings that match our realistic lifestyle in today modern society. We have members of the black family with diabetes, lactose intolerance, high blood pressure and more and we have to create foods and plates to acknowledge and accommodate all of these issues that are rampant in our black community. In addition, a lot of black people gave up on eating pork and switched to low-carb and vegetarian meals. Blended families and interracial couples in the family also offer Asian and Latino food so accommodate a diversity of dishes instead of the traditional soul food offering.
When it is your turn to express your thanks, acknowledge the journey we as African-American taken to arrive to this point today. Despite the victim mentality blacks we have in our community, we actually and truly came a long way from slavery and Jim Crow to the Great Migration to the projects to moving from the hood to the suburbs to be where the whole black family at today. We know how to survive and overcome so acknowledge your ancestors who lived through the last centuries and those sitting at the table for paving the way for you to even have the opportunity to be where you are today.
As a member of the Afro-Tech, let your family know you are moving away from math-based logic where people talk about how much money they got. Tell them you are moving towards a value-based system focusing on being someone who will do better for everybody by creating something of value for everybody benefit. Tell them you are going to own your story and make sure African-American people own their own story from this point now on and we are going to move forward with a new journey of our people to a cycle of continuous improvement. That’s the path our African-Americans ancestors want us to take and starting in 2017, that’s the path we are taking.
I want to wish all members of the Afro-Tech and their families and loved ones a beautiful gathering this Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy this holiday weekend because come next Monday, Afro-Tech Atlanta is about to get lit.
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