By Elder Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr.
Two days after Thanksgiving, I received lots of information in my inbox, one of which reads:
Slavery Auction – The True Meaning of ‘Black Friday’
It’s really a shame how they can take something so horrible and pull the wool over our eyes, hiding the true meaning for what you are celebrating. Back in the days of slavery, the African-American slaves would cook up that nice Thanksgiving turkey meal for their masters, and entertain them throughout the night. They would force the slaves to entertain their friends and family, who would then vote on which slave was the best entertainer and which was the worst. The losers were then sold at auction the next day, which they called ‘Black Friday.’
The potential slave purchasers knew the day following Thanksgiving. There would be an auction, so they got prepared for the sale. They would get up early and head to where the auction was taking place, hoping they would be the first in line. Hundreds would show up hoping they could be the first to purchase the slaves that were on sale. This was the one day out of the year that the slaves were greatly reduced in price. The eager slave purchasers would come from miles around to get a “great bargain” on the annual Thanksgiving slave auction. (the bold is mine)
So just remember when you head out for those great sales on your ‘Black Friday’ holiday that you are carrying on a tradition created by racists! (http://now8news.com/slavery-auction-true-meaning-black-friday/)
As a student of history, especially the history of slavery in America, I never came across such information. For some reason, I felt there was something wrong equating Black Friday with Slavery. In order to find out how others in my network feel about Black Friday, I passed on the information to those in my network to get their reactions. As expected, three persons who had similar doubts as to the truthfulness of such a claim responded. One of them even called me on the phone while I was conducting this research regarding the accuracy of ‘Black Friday.’ He pointed out to me that I should have found out first before passing on the information to those on my contact list. The point he made, made sense, but he argued as if the point he made was the only way to seek the truth. He refused to accept my approach to seek the truth. I said to him that there were many ways to conduct investigations and my approach is one of them. It produced the discussions I anticipated.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to find out whether African Slaves were auctioned on Friday. The title of the article is: “Were African Slaves Sold on Friday at a Discount: True or False?”
Truth is a universal principle that remains the same today and forever. The only exception is, there will always be individuals who, by choice or influence, will tamper with the Truth in order to advance their own interests or for those they are loyal to; but there is nothing abstract about it. Truth is like night follows day, and those who subscribed to telling lies sooner or later will be exposed.
The Social Media Revolution is real! The Internet is “Communication Super Highway.” Anyone who has access to the Internet has become news provider or news reporter. The person only needs a list of personal contacts or followers from whom all sorts of news, stories, jokes, quotes, photos, and Bible verses originate. The information could be educational, while others could be fictitious. To which Martin Lawrence says: “Not knowing the truth doesn’t make you ignorant, not wanting to know the truth is what makes you ignorant.”
Despite Social Media’s positive impact and contributions, there are many individuals and organizations who take pleasure in creating chaos by spreading misinformation. Therefore, we should not believe everything we read on the Internet; instead, we should ascertain the authenticity first before sharing the information with our contacts. These days, there are many ‘Pinocchios’ on Social Media. I honestly believe the pandemonium Black Friday caused should serve as a good example.
This brings to mind another classic example of ‘half-truths,’ and that is the famous ‘Henry Kissinger Memo, ’ which was developed purposely to depopulate Black people through agriculture and other means. Even today, there are other American and European policies laced with Hidden Agenda to continue this practice against people of color. However, the Black Friday LIE is not one of them.
Throughout the research for this article, I did not find any practice or schedule(s) of slaves being sold on Friday. I only found several newspaper announcements of public hangings of Negros (not Blacks) as well as public auctions of slaves at plantations with dates and times listed. See the examples below of public auction of slaves and public hanging!
Explanations on how Black Friday got started
The first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to holiday shopping but to the financial crisis: specifically, the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24, 1869. Two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. On that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unraveled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.
The most commonly repeated story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.
In recent years, another myth has surfaced that gives a particularly ugly twist to the tradition, claiming that back in the 1800s, Southern plantation owners could buy slaves at a discount on the day after Thanksgiving. Though this version of Black Friday’s roots has understandably led some to call for a boycott of the retail holiday, it has no basis in fact.
The true story behind Black Friday, however, is not as sunny as retailers might have you believe. Back in the 1950s, police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache.
By 1961, “Black Friday” had caught on in Philadelphia, to the extent that the city’s merchants and boosters tried unsuccessfully to change it to “Big Friday” in order to remove the negative connotations. The term didn’t spread to the rest of the country until much later, however, and as recently as 1985, it wasn’t in common use nationwide. Sometime in the late 1980s, however, retailers found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected positively, rather than negatively, on them and their customers. The result was the “red to black” concept of the holiday mentioned earlier and the notion that the day after Thanksgiving marked the occasion when America’s stores finally turned a profit. (In fact, stores traditionally see bigger sales on the Saturday before Christmas.)
This is one of the stories that explained how the term as we know it actually got started; The New York Times report from 1975 above, says Black Friday is slang in Philadelphia.
In a previous article from 1961, references are made to police officers in Philadelphia, coining the term as a way to describe the smog and traffic caused by shoppers. Retailers were said to be unhappy with the phrase and tried to rename it Big Friday. This didn’t catch on!
The Black Friday story stuck, and pretty soon, the term’s darker roots in Philadelphia were largely forgotten. Since then, the one-day sales bonanza has morphed into a four-day event and spawned other “retail holidays” such as Small Business Saturday/Sunday and Cyber Monday. Stores started opening earlier and earlier on that Friday, and now the most dedicated shoppers can head out right after their Thanksgiving meal. According to a pre-holiday survey by the National Retail Federation, an estimated 135.8 million Americans definitely plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend (58.7 percent of those surveyed), though even more (183.8 million, or 79.6 percent) said they would or might take advantage of the online deals offered on Cyber Monday. (https://www.history.com/news/whats-the-real-history-of-black-friday)
In a 1994 article, former Philadelphia Bulletin reporter Joseph P. Barrett recalled how he took part in popularizing the term “Black Friday” throughout Philadelphia in the early 1960s, from which it eventually spread into nationwide usage:
The term “Black Friday” came out of the old Philadelphia Police Department’s traffic squad. The cops used it to describe the worst traffic jams which annually occurred in Center City on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
It was the day that Santa Claus took his chair in the department stores, and every kid in the city wanted to see him. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season.
Schools were closed. Late in the day, out-of-town visitors began arriving for the Army-Navy football game.
Every “Black Friday,” no traffic policeman was permitted to take the day off. The division was placed on 12 hours of duty, and even the police band was ordered to Center City. It was not unusual to see a trombone player directing traffic.
Two officers were assigned to intersections along Market Street to control the throngs of pedestrians.
The department also placed police officers outside parking garages because the “lot filled” signs failed to deter motorists from lining up on the curb lane outside the garage. This reduced street size from two lanes to one. This caused traffic to back up and block traffic at the next intersection. This caused massive gridlock.
However, the earliest known use of this accounting-related explanation for the origins of the term “Black Friday” dates from 1981, many years after Philadelphia police had been using the phrase in reference to traffic issues. (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/black-friday-origins/)
British shoppers on Black Friday
For most British shoppers, Black Friday started in the last couple of years and is symbolized by fights over flat-screen TVs and other items.
Black Friday was first introduced to the UK by Amazon, now a range of retailers such as Tesco, Argos and John Lewis discount prices. The term first began in the US, where Black Friday follows Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November.
There are plenty of rumors circulating online about how the day of sales first got its name – but which one is true? Black slaves were not sold at a discount!
Toni Braxton posted the picture below to her Facebook page, along with the accompanying caption, which claims that “slave traders would sell slaves for a discount to assist plantation owners” when they needed extra help to prepare for winter.
The first documented use of the phrase comes a long time after the slave trade was abolished in the US and so it makes it unlikely that the term originated then. It hasn’t stopped people, especially in the US, to call for a boycott of Black Friday, with some citing the recent protests over the Michael Brown shooting as a reason not to take part.
Both in the UK and the US retailers rely on the Christmas season to make much of their yearly profits – and there are plenty of queues on the high street and waits to access online stores.
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2012, shoppers in the US spent an estimated $59.1bn (£37.6bn) on Black Friday, Because of the deep discounts offered, it isn’t clear how much of that is profit and there is no evidence to suggest this is the day where they go “into the black.”
Most retailers in the UK have managed to make the sales to keep in business in all the years preceding the introduction of Black Friday.
From the beginning of this article, I said the Social Media Revolution is real; and that the Internet is the most effective and useful means to communicate. Anyone with a computer and access to the Internet has become self-made newsperson or news reporter; and that despite the Social Media’s positive impact and contributions, we should not believe everything we read on the Internet; instead, we should ascertain the authenticity of the information first before sharing them, because there are many individuals and organizations who take pleasure in creating chaos by spreading misinformation.
TEN ADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
1. Connectivity – The first and main advantage of social media is connectivity. People from anywhere can connect with anyone; regardless of location and religion. The beauty of social media is that you can connect with anyone to learn and share your thoughts.
2. Education – Social media has a lot of benefits for the students and teachers. It is very easy to educate others who are experts and professionals via social media. You can follow anyone to learn from him/her and enhance your knowledge about any field. Regardless of your location and education background, you can educate yourself, without paying for it.
3. Help – You can share your issues with the community to get help and giddiness. Whether it is helping in terms of money or in terms of advice, you can get it from the community you are connected with.
4. Information and Updates – The main advantage of social media is that you update yourself from the latest happenings around in the world. Most of the time, Television and print media these days are biased and do not convey the true message. With the help of social media, you can get the facts and true information by doing some research.
5. Promotion – Whether you have an offline business or online, you can promote your business to the largest audience. The whole world is open for you and can promote to them. This makes the businesses profitable and less expensive because most of the expenses made over a business are for advertising and promotion. This can be decreased by constantly and regularly involving social media to connect with the right audience.
6. Noble Cause – Social media can also be used for noble causes. For example, to promote an NGO, social welfare activities, and donations for needy people; in addition, it can be a quick way to help people, especially people who need help.
7. Awareness – Social media also create awareness and innovate the way people live. It has helped people discover new and innovative stuff that can enhance personal lives. From farmers to teachers, students to lawyers every individual of the society can benefit from social media and its awareness factor.
8. Helps Government and Agencies Fight Crime- It is also one of the advantages of the social media that it helps Governments and Security Agencies to spy and catch criminals to fight crime.
9. Improves Business Reputation – Just like it can ruin any business reputation, It can also improve business sales and reputation. Positive comments and sharing about a company can help them with sales and goodwill. Since people are free to share whatever they want on social media, it can impact positively when good words are shared.
10. Helps in Building Communities – Since our world has different religions and beliefs. Social media helps in building and participating in the community of their own religion and believes to discuss and learn about it. Similarly, people of different communities can connect to discuss and share related stuff. For example, Game lovers can join games related communities; car lovers can join communities related to cars, and so on.
TEN DISADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
1. Cyberbullying – According to a report published by PewCenter.org, most of the children have become victims of cyberbullying over the past. Since anyone can create a fake account and do anything without being traced, it has become quite easy for anyone to bully on the Internet. Threats, intimidation messages and rumors can be sent to the masses to create discomfort and chaos in the society. Check out the 6 cyberbullying stories that turned into suicide stories.
2. Hacking – Personal data and privacy can easily be hacked and shared on the Internet, which can make financial losses and loss to personal life. Similarly, identity theft is another issue that can give financial losses to anyone by hacking their personal accounts. Several personal twitter and Facebook accounts have been hacked in the past and the hacker had posted materials that have affected individuals’ personal lives. This is one of the dangerous disadvantages of social media, and every user is advised to keep their personal data and accounts safe to avoid such accidents.
3. Addiction – The addictive part of social media is very bad and can disturb personal lives as well. The teenagers are the most affected by the addiction to social media. They get involved very extensively and are eventually cut off from society. It can also waste individual time that could have been utilized by productive tasks and activities.
4. Fraud and Scams – Several examples are available where individuals have scammed and committed fraud through social media. For example, social media scams are done all the time.
5. Security Issues – Now a day’s security agencies have access to people’s personal accounts, which makes privacy almost compromised. You never know when you are visited by any investigation officer regarding any issue that you mistakenly or unknowingly discussed over the internet.
6. Reputation – Social media can easily ruin someone’s reputation just by creating a false story and spreading across social media. Similarly, businesses can also suffer losses due to bad reputation being conveyed over the social media.
7. Cheating and Relationship Issues – Most of the people have used the social media platform to propose and marry each other. However, after some time, they turn to be wrong in their decision and part ways. Similarly, couples have cheated on each other by showing fake feelings and incorrect information.
8. Health Issues – The excess usage of social media can also have a negative impact on health. Since exercise is the key to lose weight, most of people get lazy because of the excessive use of social networking sites, which in result brings disorder in routine life. This research by discovery will shock you by showing how bad your health can be affected by the use of social media.
9. Social Media causes death – Not just by using it, but by following the stunts and other crazy stuff that is shared on the internet. For example, bikers doing the unnecessary stunts, people doing the jump over the trains, and other life-threatening stuff. For example, in this video, 14 year old from Mumbai was doing stunts on a running train which caused his death. These types of stunts are performed by teenagers because of the successful stunts made and shared over social media.
10. Glamorizes Drugs and Alcohol – One of the disadvantages of social media is that people start to follow others who are wealthy or drug-addicted and share their views and videos on the web, which eventually inspires others to follow the same and get addicted to the drugs and alcohol.
These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of social media for society. However, these are enough advantages and disadvantages to decide which way to go on social media. (https://www.techmaish.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-social-media-for-society/)
The Holy Bible speaks of 7 Deadly Sins, Lying Tongue is Number 2.
Proverbs 6:16-19 16There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Webster’sdictionarydefined tongue as the fleshy, movable, muscular organ, attached in most vertebrates to the floor of the mouth, that is the principal organ of taste, an aid in chewing and swallowing, and, in humans, an important organ of speech.
According to the same Webster’s dictionary, to Lie is:
- To make a statement that one knows is false, especially with the intent to deceive.
- To give a false impression or action or false statement, especially with the intent to deceive.
- To make a false statement in order to evade the truth.
- The invention of a false story or excuse in order to deceive.
The tongue, though so small, has vast possibilities of iniquity in it. It has the manner of gossip, and its evil speaking spreads so rapidly between 2 or more persons. The tongue can bring harm, danger; it scars and corrupts not just the person or people, but the entire body. The body is one. When one part of the body is not functioning (in this case because of gossip and judgment), it affects the entire body. With our mouths, we slander, lie, blaspheme and tear down and in the process, we not only hurt those around us but also ourselves.
The Tongue is famous for 2 things: GOOD & BAD. However, the BAD exceeds GOOD. This is the reason God made it the #2 Sin. The tongue is the only part of our body that cannot be tamed.
According to James 3:3-10: “We put a bit into the mouth of a horse to make it obey us, and we are able to go where we want; think of a ship; big as it is, it is driven by such strong winds, but it can be steered by a very little rudder, and it goes wherever the pilot wants it to go. So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast of great things. Just think how large a forest can be set on fire by a tiny flame! The tongue is like a fire. It occupies a little space in the body but is capable of spreading evil through our whole body. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself. Man has tamed all other creatures – wild animals and birds, reptiles, and fish, but has not been able to tame the tongue. The tongue is evil and uncontrollable – full of deadly poison. More importantly, we used it to give thanks to our Lord and Father as well as it to curse our fellow-man, who is created in the likeness of the Almighty God”.
Medical science has done much to help man. If our eyes are getting dim, we can get glasses. If our kidneys or heart failure, we can have a transplant. But as far as I know, there is one member of the body that has never been transplanted. If we use our arms and legs too much, we would be incredibly stiff and sore. But this member never gets tired, and I’ve never seen one with a splint on it. As you get older, you may get dentures – but you will always have the same tongue you were born with! There are artificial joints made these days, but there is no artificial tongue.
Moreover, we’ve put men into big, fancy tin cans and shot them off into space. We’ve sent men into submarines without coming up to the surface for months. Man has had the moon under his feet and he’s left his footprints on the ocean floor as well. We’ve also put some fantastic canisters up into the sky, bouncing our voices off these satellites to countries around the world. Look at how we’ve harnessed the wind with giant windmills, and made the rivers and waterfalls drive our turbines. What incredible power man has over his world! And yet, he has still not conquered his own tongue.
The Story of Pinocchio should serve as a reminder for what we say or write:
Long ago, an old carpenter named Gepetto carved a puppet in the shape of a boy and named it Pinocchio. He wished the boy to be a real one. A fairy heard him and fulfilled his wish. She added life to the puppet. Gepetto loved him dearly, but Pinocchio was quite naughty and rarely spoke the truth. However, as soon as he lied, his wooden nose would grow long. But he always promised to be a good boy, but never stop telling lies.
Today, there are many Pinocchios on social media whose main purpose is to spread false news and information in order to create chaos. The fact of the matter is there are many people who will believe what they read regarding issues that involved Black and White racial matters. These people reached a conclusion without investigating the source. The recent media mania about Black Friday is a classic example. It proves that you should not believe every news story on Social Media about Black and White as true. The story about Pinocchio serves as a good reminder.
Lies similar to Pinocchio’s naughty behavior has become a way of life and has produced several types of negative stereotypes. Some of them are the followings:
- Half cast – a reference to mixed-race individual
- Black Sheep in the family
- Black Lie – worse lie
- Black Sunday
- Blackmail – extortion
- Blackball – reject
- Black Money – counterfeit
- Black Magic – sorcery
- Witch Doctor – term assigned to Africans or people of color
- Country Devil – the personification of evil by European Missioners in describing African masquerade (masked performers)
- Child or Boy – European’s racist reference to a Black male or African male
Different Types of Lies
- White Lies – the least serious of all lies
- Lie of Fabrication
- Bold-Faced Lie
- Lie of Exaggeration
- Lie of Deception
- Compulsive Lying
Few Social Media Logos
Finally, my reason for writing this article is not only to correct the Lie about Black Friday published on Social Media but to inform readers of this article not to believe everything they read on Social Media without first finding out if the material is true or false. To pass on the information without first conducting due diligence will continue to spread information that is false, just like the case of Black Friday.
In Genesis 1:26-27, God commands man to be a steward of the environment; Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied of the dire consequences that will occur when man disobeys God and fails to take care of Earth. Since God created us in His image and made us steward of the Earth, I believe we were put in charge to continue His creation. I truly believe, the Social Media platform is continuing God’s creation; i.e., Internet, Skype, Computer, Mouse, Remote Control, Recorder, Video, Video Recorder, Cam Recorder, DNA, Fax, Cell Phone, Digger Camera, Cloud, Sound Cloud, Multiple SoftWare, MRI, Online Self Publisher/eBooks, Photoshop, Neon Lights, Goggle, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Email, Texting, Instagram, Hashtag, Messenger, Amazon Kindle, GPS, Website/Page, Facebook, etc., are the result of the knowledge God endowed us with to continue His creation. The Social Media platform is the superhighway for communication and research. It has many positive benefits, some of which are medical technology, aeronautical engineering, agriculture, and other technological discoveries to improve our existence on Earth. These discoveries are not by chance or mistake; they are part of God’s original plan for us, which is to be in charge of Earth.
Today, we are blessed to be living in this millennium, which at a time is referred to as the age of the DOTCOM – in which life is made easy for us on the www (World Wide Web). As a blessed generation, we can find answers to almost any problem on the Internet without leaving home. It is God who allowed this to happen!
Have any of you thought about the reasons God confused the Babylonians who were building the Tower of Babel and allowed the landing of man on the Moon!
According to Genesis 11:1-9, the Babylonians wanted to make name for themselves by building a mighty city and a tower “with its top in the heavens.” God disrupted the work by confusing the language of the workers to the point that they could no longer understand one another.
But God allowed man to land on the moon. God requires our obedience; He will not tolerate man to disrespect Him. Whatever we do, He knows our intention. If it is for the benefit of mankind, He will not only allow it; He will bless it. But if it is for greed and selfishness, He will not allow it to succeed. The failure of the Babylonians and the success of the Americans landing a man on the Moon is a good example. God knew the Babylonians had the evil intention, whereas, the landing of man on the Moon was for a good purpose that would benefit mankind; the results of which are the satellites placed on the Moon that has led to the discovery and development of useful technologies.
Remember, when God created the world, there was no such thing as SIN. Sin entered the world due to Lucifer’s disobedience towards God. As a result, He expelled Lucifer and his angels to Earth. Since God is a loving and merciful Father, He felt we would need his help; so He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to save us. In addition, He provided the 10 Commandments to guide our behavior. But due to man’s sinful nature, man always found negative problems in almost everything; yet, God made it possible for the Social Media platform to be created in other to enhance and improve our lives, and not the place to spread lies. As you can see, Social Media has made and continues to make positive contributions in our lives today. Therefore, we should be careful not to fall for such lies like the Black Friday scheme.
NOTE: This article is dedicated to people who seek TRUTH, Blacks & Whites, and also for the benefits of my daughter, Ms. Sankan Worhwinn Nyanseor and my niece, Ms. Assatu Nana Wisseh both of whom were born in the United States and are of the Dot Com/Millennium generation.
To God, be the Glory! HAPPY HOLIDAY!
About The Author:
Elder Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr. is a life-long activist who is committed to researching the true history of Africa, the people of African origin in the Diaspora. He had dedicated his teaching of African culture; spent over 50 years advocating for human, civil, and constitutional rights of all people, especially the Liberian masses. He is a Griot, poet, journalist, and an ordained Minister of the Gospel. To keep TEH’S legacy and memory ALIVE, in 2012, Mr. Nyanseor joined other writers and became BLOJU TARTY TEH’S SCHOLAR. BLOJU TEH is the late Liberian Literary Genius, Writer, Storyteller, Human, Civil, and Constitutional Rights Activist. Nyanseor can be reached at email@example.com