Why It's Called Black Friday (And It Actually Doesn't Have To Do With "Going In The Black")

Thanksgiving is America's oldest holiday — older than the country itself, even. And while oft-repeated storybook origins of the holiday most definitely didn't happen in the everybody-kumbaya way we like to tell it, the holiday is one that celebrates togetherness and gratitude in a truly explicit way. However, in recent decades, Thanksgiving is increasingly known as the day right before the more profitable, headline-making, bigger cash-cow of American holidays: Black Friday.

The spending around Thanksgiving is far overshadowed by the amount of money consumers spend on Black Friday, and the day has proven to be so important to retailers that it's been exported to countries worldwide. If Thanksgiving is about appreciating what you already have, then Black Friday is about fixing what you don't have yet — which is arguably the most American idea, ever.

Take a look below at how Black Friday breaks down, the truth behind its name (the first couple instances it was used actually had nothing to do with retailers going "in the black"), the amount of money it generates, and the human costs we pay for doorbusters, BOGO deals, and holiday discounts.
Designed by Elliot Salazar.