How Black Friday Got Its Name

This Mental Floss post about the history of Black Friday has been making the rounds, with most people pointing to how Black Friday got its name. Apparently, Philadelphia was extra busy on the Friday after Thanksgiving which caused irritation. I haven’t seen this thought mentioned anywhere else, but if the name really is derived from Philadelphia, isn’t there just a tiny chance that it’s race related? Maybe white cops didn’t like dealing with African American residents on the day after Thanksgiving? That idea makes at least as much sense as complaining about all the activity caused by a Thursday holiday and a Saturday football game, doesn’t it?

This is an uncomfortable post to write because race is not something we usually talk about here and I’m not anywhere close to being educated enough on the subject to discuss it intelligently (Blogging FTW!!). But seriously, people started calling it Black Friday because of how “irritating” the extra activity was? This makes perfect sense to everyone?

Why call it Black Friday? If you ask most people why the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, they’ll explain that the name stems from retailers using the day’s huge receipts as their opportunity to “get in the black” and become profitable for the year. The first recorded uses of the term “Black Friday” are a bit less rosy, though.According to researchers, the name “Black Friday” dates back to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s. The Friday in question is nestled snugly between Thanksgiving and the traditional Army-Navy football game that’s played in Philadelphia on the following Saturday, so the City of Brotherly Love was always bustling with activity on that day. All of the people were great for retailers, but they were a huge pain for police officers, cab drivers, and anyone who had to negotiate the city’s streets. They started referring to the annual day of commercial bedlam as “Black Friday” to reflect how irritating it was.

How Black Friday Got Its Name

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