Tuesday, 18 Jan 2022

University of Florida students change minds on renaming Black Friday after learning origins

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University of Florida students who said they support changing the name “Black Friday” had a change of heart when informed that the shopping holiday’s name has nothing to do with race.

In a video released Wednesday by Campus Reform, students at the Gainesville campus were asked by reporter Ophelie Jacobson whether they supported renaming “Black Friday,” citing an opinion article that argued it discriminates against Black people.

“Honestly I’m down to rename that,” one student responded. “I don’t like the name Black Friday. I never really have since I was small. Whenever I would go to stores, everything would be jammed packed and I would see workers, kind of, it sounds wrong, but they would lean more toward the lighter skinned people. Like, they would assist them.”

“I think that equality’s important,” another student said.

“I mean, I think it’s definitely a valid opinion. I kind of agree it should be changed just because Black Friday sounds offensive,” another student said.

One student countered that changing the name “isn’t going to help actual Black people” and that it’s not an issue that she would protest against.

The origin “Black Friday” is heavily debated, but the History Channel says it ultimately stems from 1960s Philadelphia, where police used the term to negatively describe the frenzied shopping that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, just before the Army-Navy football game kicked off that Saturday every year. In the 1980s, retailers reportedly reinvented the term to mean that stores would turn a profit on the day after Thanksgiving, and go from red to black, after operating at a loss for the entire year.

“The term Black Friday has nothing to do with race,” Jacobson, the Campus Reform reporter, informed the students in the video. “Should we still change it?”

“No,” one student said. “If it’s not about skin color then I don’t see that there’s a problem.”

“If you want to just rename it to, like, spare the feelings, then that’s not helpful,” another said.

“It’s just a word. Like, it’s a color,” added another.

“Everything will be found offensive at one point,” said another.


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