Many people give an incorrect connotation to "Black Friday". In its present common usage, it is the first official shopping day of the holiday season when many retailers, having operated "in the red" all year, finally start making a profit, putting them "in the black".
The term actually actually first appeared in the 19th century in Philadelphia when the police were faced with disruptive pedestrian and vehicular traffic the day after Thanksgiving. There was also a market crash in the late 1800s the day after Thanksgiving, causing the day to be named "Black Friday".
The Friday after Thanksgiving did not become the largest shopping day of the holiday season until very recently; about 2003. Until then, it was the day after Christmas when stores put everything on sale to clear their leftover inventory before the end of the calendar year.
Stores now have hyped "Black Friday Sales" which are starting earlier and earlier--sometimes days before the Friday after Thanksgiving. Many stores open at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning on Friday; some stores actually opened at 10pm Thursday night.
What will "Black Friday" mean for you? Hopefully, even though the economy is slowly improving, and it is good that people are shopping again, you and your family will not go "into the red" by over-shopping on "Black Friday".