6 Degrees of Separation of JAY-Z and The Myth of The First Thanksgiving NDSmith November 28, 2019 featured, Hip Hop Culture | Hip Hop Arts and Lifestyle So let’s play a game. A fun game, that is not about nothing but it would help us see just how far-reaching is JAY-Z’s network (not net worth). So for this Gobble Gobble Day, we want to see if we can trace 6 Degrees of Separation starting with Shawn Carter, rapper PKA JAY-Z and the mythology of “the very first Thanksgiving holiday.” Before we start, we have to get this out the way. From the rip, the first Thanksgiving was not the loving family dinner that we have come to love, her in America. It was kinda a peace offering between the native people, the Wampanoag and the transplants from England called the… wait for it… Separatists. The folk was not called Pilgrims, according to Fortune magazine, until the 1800s. The first feast was in 1621- not recognized until the mid-1700s (during the Washington administration) and then not made a national holiday until the 1800s (during Lincoln’s administration). It also was for more than one day. It was actually three days. Scholar Grace Donnelly said: “There is historical evidence that this feast occurred in 1621, but there’s no indication that the Native Americans were actually invited. Some accounts suggest that about 90 Wampanoag heard the settlers firing guns and came to see the cause of the stir or even ready to enter battle. It’s also possible that the Wampanoag leader, Massasoit, was making diplomatic calls after gathering his own harvest.” So nah… this all American holiday was not what we have been taught in school. NOW BACK TO OUR GAME: Can we connect JAY-Z to the mythology of Thanksgiving? Let’s see. FIRST DEGREE: JAY-Z is a rapper from Brooklyn, who made it big (understatement), and through his hard work, he and President Obama have become friends. View this post on Instagram Happy 58th Birthday President @barackobama 🎂🎁🎈 A post shared by Jay-Z (@jayz.co) on Aug 4, 2019 at 10:43am PDT SECOND DEGREE: Barack Obama was the first African-American to become president, but before he was the president or a senator, he went to the first college in the United States founded in 1636, Harvard University. It was at Harvard University that he met his wife, Michelle. View this post on Instagram I knew it way back then and I’m absolutely convinced of it today — you’re one of a kind, @MichelleObama. Happy Birthday! A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on Jan 17, 2019 at 7:02am PST THIRD DEGREE: Harvard University is located in Boston, Massachusetts. View this post on Instagram Today is #Harvard2023 Convocation 🎉 Welcome to Harvard! A post shared by Harvard University (@harvard) on Sep 2, 2019 at 11:17am PDT FOUR DEGREE: Massachusetts was the colony that the Mayflower docked at when it came from England with the Separatists, who are known as Pilgrims. View this post on Instagram Ahoy! With 2020 fast approaching, the U.S. Postal Service this week unveiled the new stamps coming out next year, including this beauty: "Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor." From USPS.com: "With this commemorative stamp, the Postal Service marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor. The stamp’s image is based on artwork of watercolor, acrylic and gouache, a method of painting that uses opaque pigments ground in water and thickened to a glue-like consistency. The painting was digitally refined to convey a scene of desolate beauty at the end of the Pilgrims’ long journey to an unfamiliar world. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with original art by Greg Harlin." Looks like we'll be buying a lot of stamps next year! 💌🌸 A post shared by The Mayflower Society (@themayflowersociety) on Oct 24, 2019 at 11:44am PDT FIFTH DEGREE: One of the people on this ship was a man named Robert Carter. According to research, American Ancestors of the Mayflower, Carter was a servant in the home of William Mullins. Mullins died the first winter before the feast. They believe that he was not actually from England, but from Dorking like Mullin and his family. He would have been living as what we consider to be a pilgrim. Also… do you see that his name is Carter? Just like JAY-Z. SIXTH DEGREE: The sixth step to connect JAY-Z to the first Thanksgiving is this: Carter probably helped prepare the meal! And who knows… maybe this Carter was connected somehow to JAY-Z. #FullCircle See how easy that was? Now it is your turn. Let us know if you can make the 6 connections yourself!