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Black Thursday: The Ideology Behind Black Friday Consumerism



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 Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to bring families together around a meal and spend time together. However this year, many found themselves at retail stores, trying to grab whatever deals it is they could find  before the next person.

 Many big retailers have recently been putting pressure on the consumer to go Black Friday shopping.. on Thursday night (also known as Thanksgiving day). Wal-Mart has started a trend of beginning Black Friday door busters earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, Thursday, which not only pressures the consumer to make purchases instead of parting the turkey, but also causes employees to miss out on quality family time as well. This year, a Wal-Mart employee stated in tears that she “didn’t make any money and had managed to piss off everyone.”


Customers at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

 But what is behind the rush to buy things during such an odd season, directly after a national holiday? Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season. In Pittsburgh, during the early 1960’s, the traffic had gotten so bad due to people hitting the streets, that the police were denied days off on the Friday and Saturday directly following Thanksgiving. The traffic officers then dubbed it Black Friday, as even the Police Band had to help direct traffic. The media soon picked up the term.

 Black Friday is a day when many retail stores lower the prices on many items in an effort to draw customers to buy more. However, it was originally intended to be held on Friday. Lately, in an effort to put more pressure on consumers, many major retailers have pushed the opening hours of Black Friday on Thursday, which would be fine, if it wasn’t a holiday. Also, it is hardly true that Black Friday shoppers start on Friday. Many people begin waiting outside of stores days, even weeks before the actual shopping day.


Rough Valley mall on Black Friday. 

 Also common among the popular shopping day is violence. It is very common to hear of the many fights that break out on Black Friday because of various conflicts. In 2015, a fight broke out between two women and a child over a vegetable steamer at a Wal-Mart.

Regardless of the togetherness Thanksgiving is meant to embody, many are slowly starting to abandon the satisfaction togetherness brings and replace it with the satisfaction of buying vegetable steamers for 40% off the usual price.

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The student news site of Serrano High School
Black Thursday: The Ideology Behind Black Friday Consumerism