America's Awkward Thanksgiving Dinner

Writer Carvell Wallace says it's time for Americans to start talking with each other.

    Journalist Shereen Marisol Meraji's parents are Iranian and Puerto Rican, and she lives in Los Angeles. In other words, says host Carvell Wallace, Meraji is American. 

    She once told him, "I fit in everywhere because I don't fit in anywhere," Wallace recalls.

    Before the Thanksgiving holidaywhen Americans go home to sit across the table from family members who often hold different political opinions, Wallace asked Meraji how he might start conversations with people from different backgrounds - people he fears might reject him.

    "Human nature is to want to be a part of a group and to have togetherness and to feel like you belong somewhere. We all want that, don't we?" asks Meraji. "And we do want to be in community, so desperately. So, if ... we're reaching out to our neighbours, and we're doing it in our own small way, I think that is possible." 

    You can hear this conversation in the second episode of Closer Than They Appear, the debut show from Al Jazeera's new podcast studio, Jetty. Over the course of seven episodes, host Carvell Wallace decides that the best way to move forward is to turn and face the dark moments in America's history - and his own. Along the way, he brings in guests for thoughtful conversations about what it means to be an American, what Americans are fighting for, and what's next for him and for all of us. 

    The first episode featured Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali, who joined Wallace to discuss what it means to be black men in America, fatherhood in the time of Trump, and maintaining grace in the face of adversity. 

    You can listen to this episode in the player above and then subscribe in Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. You can also get full episodes on Facebook Watch.

    Follow the show on Twitter @closershow.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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