Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Happy Thanksgiving Celebration


Thanksgiving Celebration

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish looks awful but tastes great!

Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish looks awful but tastes great!

We will drive to our daughter’s home in Philadelphia on Thursday morning for our Thanksgiving celebration with her family. She said all I need to do is bring the ham. I like that!

I’ll also take Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish. If you are a fan of National Public Radio, you probably know about it. Every year for decades NPR Host Susan Stamberg reminds listeners about this relish, a recipe she got from her mother-in-law.

I’ve made it several times. Last year I put the remainder in the freezer. Not sure how it will taste after 12 months, but we’ll find out!

I hope you have a safe and satisfying Thanksgiving celebration.

Remembering Native Americans

Thanksgiving, like Columbus Day, reminds me of our treatment of, and debt to, Native Americans. So tonight as the closing reading for our Unitarian Church Board meeting, I read a few paragraphs from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

United Nations

United Nations

The Declaration was adopted in 2007, after twenty years of work. It has many paragraphs affirming its purpose. Then there are 45 articles spelling out the rights in detail.

Here are the parts I read:

  • Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such,
  • Affirming also that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,
  • Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust,
  • Solemnly proclaims the following United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect:
  • Article 1 Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.

I like the part of the proclamation, the 4th bullet point, which declares this “a standard of achievement to be pursued.”

Then thinking of how African tribes were divided by the Berlin Conference setting borders, I also read

  • Article 36: Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.

Mugabe Has Resigned

Thank goodness, Mugabe resigned before the Zimbabwean Parliament had to impeach him. Though the fact that they were beginning the process must have helped him come to his decision!

It will be fascinating to see how Zimbabwe moves ahead.

Peter Godwin is an author who grew up in Zimbabwe with his white parents. He wrote about the country and his experiences in When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, in 2007. He also wrote, The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe, more recently.  

My book group read the first book. I wrote about our discussion.

I was curious about Godwin’s reaction to Mugabe’s departure. On Twitter he said, “I feel relieved and privileged to have been allowed to live long enough to see this day, the historic day when Zimbabwe got rid of Robert Mugabe.”

A little later he posted this notice: “A reminder to anchors, corrs (correspondents) and print reporters, when referring to Grace (Mugabe’s wife), there is no such official title in Zimbabwe as First Lady. Please don’t give her airs and Graces…”

Celebrating Music Director Ed's birthday

Celebrating Music Director Ed’s birthday

Celebrating Birthdays 

Today is my sister’s birthday. I wish we could celebrate together, but maybe in another year!

Our Music Director at the Unitarian Church also celebrated a birthday recently.

At two choir rehearsals (2 different choirs) we sang and shared cake, and generally had a good time together!

Igbo People Can’t Forget Biafra, says Dozie

Why Igbos cannot forget Biafra – Ikedife replies Buhari

Clem’s good friend Dr. Dozie Ikedife is an outspoken proponent of remembering and honoring Biafra. He has sometimes encouraged the Igbo people to consider another attempt at secession.

I hope we’ll see him this Christmas time in Nigeria, as we did last year. Then we can argue again about the futility of secession!

But I do support him for saying we should not forget Biafra and Biafrans. We should honor the attempt to create a country, honor those who fought for the ideal, and honor those who served in the civilian administration, like my husband.

But I believe the country should move forward as a single entity.

Krista Tippett, On Being, with Ta-Nehisi Coates

Do you ever listen to Krista Tippett’s program On Being? I sometimes listen on NY Public Radio at 7 am on Sunday morning. More often I listen to the podcasts.

Her interviews are always enlightening and entertaining.

Last week she spoke with Ta-Nehisi Coates who wrote Between the World and Me, and now has a new book about Obama’s presidency. Amazon says, “In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

Another important book to add to the “To read” list!

Ta-Nehisi Coates — Imagining a New America

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.


  1. So it looks like Mugabe’s resignation is one more thing you will give thanks for tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving to you and family.

    • Thanks, Margaret. Zimbabwe doesn’t feel as close to us as, say another West African country, but still we’re conscious of events in all African countries. And we have friends in Zimbabwe. We had a lovely Thanksgiving.

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