Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

We’ve forgotten the true meaning of ‘Black Friday’

Black Friday started as a protest against rampant consumerism.

Thanks to the tradition of giving salaried workers the Friday after Thanksgiving as a vacation day + the availability of cheap credit + big sales and heavy retail promotions– the last Friday in November became the biggest shopping day of the year decades ago.

As a protest against rabid consumerism and the commercialization of Thanksgiving and Christmas– economic protesters created the concept of Black Friday several years ago. As such, it was promoted as a day to stay home from the stores and not “shop ’til you drop”.

The buy local movement first tried to co-opt Black Friday and turn it into a protest against shopping at multi-national chain stores a few years ago.

More recently, the multi-national chain stores have successfully buried the shopping protest movement and adopted the Black Friday label as their own. The 700+ pages of advertisements that were included with today’s Arizona Daily Star plus 2! front page stories in the Star about shopping (and they call themselves journalists?) are evidence that rabid consumerism is alive and well in the US. There are even Black Friday coupon websites that promote shopping at Target, Kohl’s, Sears, and others.


I agree with the buy local movement’s spin on Black Friday. If you really want to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, buy local. Don’t support the multi-national chains who exploit workers in other countries– and consumers at home.

Let’s recapture the true meaning of Black Friday– a day of protest against over-the-top consumerism and the nationwide chain stores who push cheap imports upon us.

2011 UPDATE: Occupy Movement encourages citizens to shop Mom and Pop stores on Black Friday.

11 comments on “We’ve forgotten the true meaning of ‘Black Friday’

  1. Carolyn Classen
    November 25, 2010

    Right Pam, shop local at Bohemia artisans emporium:
    But did you see all those printed chain store ads in today’s Az Daily Star?


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  9. Martha Retallick
    November 25, 2010

    I’ll confess to having some, ahem, commercial transactions to engage in tomorrow. But rest assured that they’ll all be at locally owned, independently operated stores. Those big box places just don’t appeal to me.


  10. wombat247
    November 26, 2010

    Get your facts straight, Pam.
    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.


  11. Three Sonorans
    November 26, 2010

    Actually… enter nerd here… Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s the Friday/Saturday before Christmas that is… proof we are procrastinators? 🙂


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This entry was posted on November 25, 2010 by in Capitalism, corporatists, economy, jobs and tagged , , .

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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