Question of the Week | December 2, 2010

November 20, 2010

Will you be a part of the shopping stampede on Black Friday?

“No. I try to avoid going outside that day.”
— Carson Whitley
Second-year graduate student

“I’ll probably be asleep or eating Thanksgiving leftovers.
Screw that.”
— Melanie Weston

“No, we prefer to live.”
— Kiaonno Bradley and Elena Ruiz

“No. I think Black Friday is offensive. There are racial
implications in calling the day when everything is
cheapest ‘Black.’ Also, the Emeryville shopping center,
which is where most people from around here will
probably go, is built on Native remains — the shell-
mound burial site.”
— Kehontas Rowe

“I would be a straggler. Or getting trampled on.”
— Desirae Tongco

Question of the Week | December 2, 2010 was published on November 20, 2010 in Letters to the Editor, Opinions and tagged with

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  • Janet Holmgren

    So, on the discussion of the name ‘Black Friday’ -it originated in Philadelphia as a description of the heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the day after Thanksgiving, and the adjective ‘BLACK’ is used only because this is a day on which businesses make profits, or are ‘IN THE BLACK’, clearly a positive expression. Just thought people could use an accurate explanation of the title.

    That being said, I’m not much of a shopper any time of the year.

  • Sarah Jeanne Lombardo

    I definitely appreciate the critical analysis of the use of “Black” in “Black Friday”. It’s especially relevant given the propensity of our culture to lump purity and goodness with “white”, and evil with “black”. So much of our subtle, insidious racism is evident in our language.

    Interestingly, the term “Black Friday” is an old industry term referring to the day that stores first got “out of the red” and “into the black”–i.e., started making profits. It’s like when you’re working in an Excel spreadsheet, and the total of your sums show up in red if they’re negative and black when they’re positive (uh, I feel I’m giving away my nerd status here). But does that historical trivia matter, given our just as historical polarizing of black and white along some inherent goodness spectrum?