It’s that time of year again! Black Friday! The time when parents are doing whatever they can to get their children everything on their Christmas list, only to turn around and give the credit to a chubby Caucasian man in a red suit! And don’t you just love the crowded malls and cranky impatient people?! Although many of us are well aware of the shopping madness associated with Black Friday, a couple of years ago, a post started going around via social media that suggested that Black Friday originated from slave owners selling slaves for discounted prices. The post confused many people, prompting boycotts and making people question whether or not their original understanding of Black Friday was true or not.
I am here to tell you that it’s NOT true! With all of the current issues and events connected to racism and slavery, I understand why people were so readily accepting the myth of Black Friday originating from the slave trade. However, it’s just not true. After doing some research, I discovered that Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in the 1950’s. Traffic cops had to work 12 hour shifts to monitor the outrageous parking, traffic, and crowds of people that were a result in the annual Army-Navy football game that was held in the city every year.
Last year, African Americans and other groups boycotted Black Friday. The majority boycotted due to large corporations not taking a stand with Black people when innocent unarmed Blacks were being gunned down by police. If you want to boycott Black Friday this year for that same reason, go right ahead! Whatever reason you choose, just remember that just because you see it on a meme, it doesn’t make it true! If you choose to boycott this year, be sure to research the causes before you commit to one. Choosing to shop with Black owned businesses on Black Friday is also a great alternative!
Happy holidays if you celebrate! Bah humbug if you don’t!