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Where did Black Friday come from?

Black Friday  Origins
Photo credit Irum

Black Friday has become a ritual to many Americans young and old. The day after Thanksgiving shoppers and retailers in the United States prepare for swarms of shoppers looking to find the best deals of the year, and prepare for the true American holiday; Christmas. However news stations may show shoppers and retailers on “Black Friday”, the origins of this holiday has shifted from the hands of many storytellers throughout history.

The Myth of Black Friday

In 1965 the term was used by Philadelphia Traffic Police. In a report to the American Dialect Society, Bonnie Taylor-Blake referred to a 1961 article which stated that “The resulting traffic jams are an irksome problem to the police and, in Philadelphia, it became customary for officers to refer to the post-Thanksgiving days as Black Friday and Black Saturday”

The Re-branding of Black Friday

In the 1980’s the phrases “Back Friday” was used by retailers to signify a day of retail profit. When keeping records, writing in red would normally signify a loss in revenue while writing in black would signify profits.  Thus retailers had attempted to shifted the term Black Friday from shopping madness and the stock market crash of 1869, into a day of celebration.


Black Normally Signifies Bad Events

Why try to re-brand Black Friday when history has shown us that Black + “a day of the week” usually signifies a terrible event in history.

Black Monday: Stock Markets around the world crashed in 1987.

Black Tuesday: 16 millions shares traded off as the Great Depression began in 1929.

Black Thursday:  During the Panic of 1873 when the U.S. bank Jay Cooke & Company declared bankruptcy, triggering a series of bank failures.

Black Friday: Most major retailers open extremely early and offer the best sales to customers who come early.

Should we rename Black Friday?

Black may normally signify a bad turn of events in history, but why not have one day in the week to break that trend. Do you believe “Black Friday” should be renamed to reflect its true purpose like Friday Madness, Early Friday, or Super Save Friday?

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  1. It should stay as it is because you want people to change it because history of black? Screw defending all bad events that help lose money that can alway be replaced!!! If anyone died during those events it was probably from a stroke based on how much money they invested. But can Black be accepted as good for once??? I mean we did have to deal with torture and slavery not to mention killed blacks and raped our women.
    Sad article dude racist people support this fool

  2. I am “black” so how is this racists??

    My reference to the word black has nothing to do with blacks or slavery. My reference to the word black is purely based on other events that have Black + a day of the week like my examples show. These examples all deal with economics.

    If you re-read the last paragraph you will see that I proposed both sides of the argument to see other people’s opinions. I see you feel strongly tied to the word black having some positive connotation. I actually agree with you on that point. Other people may want the name to relate to the event like “Cyber Monday” does on the Monday after Black Friday.

  3. How about we do away with the madness altogether? People turn into animals shopping for crap they don’t need for a holiday that is supposed to be about love and compassion. I no longer observe this bogus holiday and I am happy to say that I have NEVER participated in this ridiculous conspicuous consumption carnival of madness.