Happy Black Day!

There should be more color holidays… granted Black Friday doesn’t have much to do with color, so much as it is the firing of the starting pistol for holiday shoppers. The closest relevance to the color black comes in the day’s connection to putting businesses in the “black,” which at least has to do with ink color.

Black Friday, in the United States, is the day following Thanksgiving. It signifies the beginning of all-out consumer madness: the Holiday Shopping season.

The Searcher

There are a few historical tidbits related to how the name ‘Black Friday’ came about. From Wikipedia:

As a term it has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where it was associated with a financial crisis in 1869. The earliest known reference to the day after Thanksgiving was made in a 1966 publication in Philadelphia:

JANUARY 1966 — “Black Friday” is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. “Black Friday” officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.

Black_Friday_Cometh Black_Friday


The term Black Friday began to get wider exposure around 1975, as shown by two newspaper articles from November 29, 1975, both datelined Philadelphia. The first reference is in an article entitled “Army vs. Navy: A Dimming Splendor,” in The New York Times:

Philadelphia police and bus drivers call it “Black Friday” – that day each year between Thanksgiving Day and the Army–Navy Game. It is the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year in the Bicentennial City as the Christmas list is checked off and the Eastern college football season nears conclusion.

Black_Plague_Friday black_day


The derivation is also clear in an Associated Press article entitled “Folks on Buying Spree Despite Down Economy,” which ran in the Titusville Herald on the same day:

Store aisles were jammed. Escalators were nonstop people. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season and despite the economy, folks here went on a buying spree. … “That’s why the bus drivers and cab drivers call today ‘Black Friday,'” a sales manager at Gimbels said as she watched a traffic cop trying to control a crowd of jaywalkers. “They think in terms of headaches it gives them.”

The U.S. Black Friday is not the only ‘Black Friday’ nor is it the only ‘black’ day. If you’re curious about other ‘black’ days jump over to Wikipedia: Black Sunday · Black Monday · Black Tuesday · Black Wednesday · Black Thursday · Black Friday · Black Saturday

Black in the Library

319~(dis)like_black Seal_Black

mochibot_black smeared_black_ink

Not_Too_Black... Brown_Black

zin_black Mariana_Trench

old_velvet vintage_black

black_raspberry batman_black

Not_Quite_Black Grr-ey

Black tiger_black

2A_blue The_New_Black

teal_at_midnight lie_to_me

Bicycle_Tyres okp_black

black_eye Black_Metal

More black color palettes can be found in the groups BlackRound Midnight.

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (http://thepostfamily.com/), a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.