Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NAACP objects to term "Black Friday"

By Darnell Washington, Newsophile Staff Writer

BALTIMORE, MD -- After years of remaining silent on the subject, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, commonly known as the NAACP, has issued a press release objecting to the term "Black Friday."

According to NAACP head Benjamin Todd Johnson, "the idea of thousands of people pushing and shoving over each other to get the best deal and labeling that as something 'black' should be offensive to all people of color." The organization has also called on major retailers including WalMart, Sears, Nordstrom, Macy's, Target and even Apple to replace the offending term by Friday, November 26, 2010 or risk boycotts by NAACP members.

The term refers to the day after Thanksgiving and is generally considered the start of the Christmas shopping season. Its origins date back to the late 1960s in Philadelphia, in which the streets would turn 'black' with pedestrian and car traffic. By the mid-1970s, the term had spread nationally and also included the idea that retailers were finally 'in the black' and turning a profit.

Most retailers book the bulk of their revenue during the holiday shopping season, and some are taking the threat of the boycott seriously. According to Gregg Steinmen, CEO of Target Corp., "we greatly value our shoppers of color, who make up nearly 40% of our revenue and 80% of our jewelry purchases. Since it's too late to change our marketing materials for this Friday, we're hoping to work closely with the NAACP to come up with something great for next year, such as 'Crazy Cracker Day' in order to even out the score."