So are all of you fat and ready to poop after stuffing your faces with dead bird? I can image you are, unless you are some sort of freaky vagitarian and have been eating Tofurkey all afternoon. Well either way, I hope you had a decent Thanksgiving and don’t have to crap too much. I hope you made sure to give thanks for Fredrickville and my column.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to talk Black Friday. Now if you remember my column from last year, I really despise the entire idea of this corporate driven spending spree. But I’m not going to write about that - cuz I already did it. That would be as redundant as listening to a Nickelback album. Actually I went digging around the net and have found something far more interesting to write about.
From what I have read, around this time of year in the 1700’s, cotton fields in the southern state would not produce as much cotton as fast as they do in the summer months. So many slave owners had a surplus of workers on their hands and would decide to sell off many of them to make some additional money to help them through the winter months. By selling off dozens of slaves at a time, plantation owners could get fast capitol and also were able to save food and clothing that would have been provided to the slaves.
As this trend became more widespread across the south, many of the towns near the larger plantations would start holding auctions in the town’s center to facilitate these sales. Auctions typically would start on the Friday after Thanksgiving and would continue through the weekend. Because of this, people started coining the phrase “Negro Friday” in reference to the event. These auctions offered tremendous deals to owners of smaller farms who only needed a handful of slaves. Plantation owners would sometimes offer several slaves together in one auction and would advertise them to bidders saying they will be more efficient because they work better together. This was usually not true, but the advertising would draw many bidders to these auctions and sellers would make very good profits.
As time went on, the auctions became a hot spot for not only slave sales but other goods as well. The auctions became one of the best outlets for craftsman to sell their products to the town’s people. People began to travel great distances to get to auctions in other towns and would show up early to the auctions to try and purchase items before supplies ran out.
Honestly, I was very shocked to discover all of this. It’s amazing to see how some of our modern day rituals stemmed from our nation’s darkest times in history. So when you head out to Best Buy, Macy’s or K-mart tomorrow - remember that many slaves suffered and died for your right to sip on frappachinos and shop for the best deal on iPod, Xbox 360 and flat screen TVs. I wonder if during the days of those original auctions if they would offer deals like buy two get one free?
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||mynameisjonas @ 11/22/07
"yes, i saw something on the history channel not long ago about charles l booth a plantation owner who capatilized on it many times, he actually would use that one day to trade his negros off, and allowed the men to actually select which woman they wished to copulate with for the year or so there by making his slaves happy?"
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