This Thursday marks the US National Day of Mourning, which commemorates 50 years since the people of the Wampanoag would no longer be silenced when Frank James – then leader of the Wampanoag – was denied from reading his speech at the 350th commemoration of Pilgrim’s arriving in New England. Instead, he led a march to the statue of former Wampanoag leader, Ousamequin and this moment led to the creation of the National Day of Mourning for the Wampanoag people, which takes place on Thanksgiving Day in America each year.
This will be marked in Plymouth with the closing of the ‘No New Worlds’ light installation on Mount Batten Pier to show solidarity
The 2020 National Day of Mourning marks half a century since the people of the Wampanoag refused to accept the one-dimensional telling of the Thanksgiving story and were no longer willing to be silenced. This year, Native Americans will still gather on Cole’s Hill on Thanksgiving Day – not to mark the Mayflower’s arrival but to commemorate a National Day of Mourning. You can watch a video from the Mayflower 400 about the National Day of Mourning here.
“I’m glad Plymouth is able to show solidarity with commenerating such a brave and noble stand by Frank James. We need to remember the pain that so many Native Americans still feel when we celebrate and remember the Mayflower, especially so soon after it’s 400th anniversary.”
“Many of the accounts from the Wampanoag people in this year’s video are incredibly moving, and I encourage everyone to watch it and learn more about what the deviant stands the Wamponoag people continue to make in ensuring their people’s history are respectfully remembered.”