Words Matter: The origins of ‘Black Friday’

Sky News Australia published this video item, entitled “Words Matter: The origins of ‘Black Friday'” – below is their description.

Sky News contributor Kel Richards provides insights into the origins of the term “Black Friday” as woke activists begin demanding the term be removed for being allegedly racist. “The expression goes back a long way. At least the sales go back to 1952. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in every November in America. The day after that was when the big department stores began the pre-Christmas sales,” he said. “According to the stories, it was the traffic policeman in Philadelphia who dreaded those sales… they started calling it Black Friday because they had a terrible experience trying to control the traffic. “Black is just being used to mean something that’s difficult and something we’re not happy with. It’s been used that way for a long time. The earliest recorded instance of the expression ‘Black Friday’ was from 1610 – nothing to do with racism. “It was used by schoolboys… every time they had exams on a Friday, they called it Black Friday. “We mourn in black for example… it’s not racist, it’s just the way the colour is associated in our culture.”

Sky News Australia YouTube Channel

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About This Source - Sky News Australia

Sky News Australia is an Australian 24-hour cable and satellite channel available on the Foxtel and Optus Television subscription platforms. It is also available in New Zealand on Sky Television and Vodafone. The channel combines factual news reporting with right-wing punditry and panels.

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Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, is notable for its rich history, on display at the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed) and other American Revolutionary sites. Also iconic are the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, immortalized by Sylvester Stallone’s triumphant run in the film “Rocky.” 

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Thanksgiving is best known as a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November every year, usually through feasting, parades and travel to see family and friends, though celebrations were scaled back during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

The roots of the modern celebration lie in settlers celebrating their arrival in the Americas in the early 1600’s. It has been a public holiday since 1941 due to federal legislation, an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest. What Americans call the “Holiday Season” generally begins with Thanksgiving. The first day after Thanksgiving Day—Black Friday—marks the start of the Christmas shopping season.

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