I was totally duped by that Black Friday hoax floating around on FB. A really annoying one given the global tensions on the rise resulting from colonial history and the present-day form that it takes.


Luckily, I had friends (thank you), who were like ‘Not True’. And not only that, they were willing to provide some research to help me understand. Kudos to friends who <3 knowledge!


Even though the info on the link was factually off (whatever, it’s the internet), it did inspire me to do what I do best.


So, I got to researching and here’s the deal.


As far as I can find, Black Friday was not a term used to promote the sale of enslaved Black people.


Although the term was used commonly to describe many things throughout Europe in the 1800s, it was used in the US to describe the US Government’s Treasury Audits. This was the same term used for the same thing in England (re. Colonialism)




However, our current pop-knowledge of Black Friday comes from the September 24, 1869 scandal involving US President Grant, and two financial con-artists, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk (among others). The story was actually written out in 1872 articles from the Nashville Union and American and  Marshall County Republic.


Nowadays, Black Friday has been moved from September to November and has embraced Gould and Fisk’s grand money making scheme. A few small adjustments to a really simple and germane description which was given by PBS in an article describing the incident, definitely fits much better to our current understanding of Black Friday.


My Adjustment: Within minutes, the price of goods plummeted, and businesses scrambled to sell their items. Many buyers had obtained loans to buy their goods. With no money to repay the loans, they were ruined[1].


That said, don’t ruin yourselves today, I hear the deals are actually the same as in September anyways!

[1] Original: Within minutes, the price of gold plummeted, and investors scrambled to sell their holdings. Many investors had obtained loans to buy their gold. With no money to repay the loans, they were ruined.