Does the meaning black market have any thing to do with slavery?

Anonymous 08/25/2017. 14 answers
Arts & Humanities History

I always assumed that after slavery was abolished, slaves were still bought and sold in secret. So it was called the "Black Market" because it is where black people were sold and bought. Is there any truth behind this?

14 Answers


Valleycat1 08/19/2017.

Nope. Just like 'dark web' is not referencing slaves or black people. "Some clues can be found by looking at the evolution of the usage of the term. If we go to JSTOR to search for the earliest uses of the term, we discover something quite interesting. The earliest articles using the term address a very specific sort of black market, namely, the black market for currency. The handful of articles that talk about black markets in the 1930s all refer to occasions where deviant entrepreneurs were creating markets to route around fixed exchange rate regimes. The historical context for the rise of these "black" markets (a clue that the idea was a new one is that these early articles all use scare quotes) was the monetary situation of the 1930s: the gold standard had collapsed, but most governments were refusing to allow their currencies to "float."" from here: [ Blogspot.com Link ]


Art 08/20/2017.

That is more a European term than American.


Keno 08/20/2017.

no. dummy.


Anonymous 08/19/2017.

It doesn't refer to slaves. A black market is one which operates outside of official channels and regulations. The name is meant to draw connections with Darkness because the market is out of sight of authorities.


Gawain of 08/19/2017.

Only in the sense that human trafficking at the present day is illegal in most of the world, so most of the victims are bought and sold in a black market. Of course all races are subject to it, in the US as well as the rest of the world.


staisil 08/19/2017.

Not at all.

The Black Market was a response to rationing that was introduced during World War Two. It was an illegal business which included the buying or selling currency or goods banned by a government or were subject to governmental controls.


Grillparzer 08/19/2017.

There is nothing conclusive concerning the etymology of the phrase "black market," but illegal slave trading is one of a number of possibilities.

[ Quora.com Link ]


xyzzy 08/19/2017.

Black Market has nothing to do with slaves. A black market, sometimes called an underground economy, or shadow economy is just a clandestine market or transaction that has some aspect of illegality.


Re Vera 08/19/2017.

None at all. Black and white refers to whether something is illegal or legal. Black markets sell illegal goods. White markets sell legal goods. Grey markets do both or sell things that are questionable but not explicitly illegal.

Same goes with the labels given to hackers. White hat hackers are hackers who work for software or security companies and test software for vulnerabilities to fix and patch. Black hat hackers are the ones who break into systems to steal ****. Grey hat hackers skirt the edges of the legal/illegal lines but don't have malicious intent.


D 08/19/2017.

No. It has more to do with the clandestine trade of goods of uncertain provenance by dead of night in the criminal underworld, or associated 'under the counter' trading in any context.


bn4md 08/19/2017.

LOL - Never really thought about it, but in a way, I guess you could say it that way - although the actual "black market" refers to something bought or sold illegally. It has no real association to slavery, except.....LOL in the way you expressed it.


Tina 08/19/2017.

No, as everyone else has pointed out it just means illegal trading. How do you imagine slaves could be bought and sold secretly? all the victim had to do was walk out of the house of his/her purchaser and inform the nearest policeman.


Gert 08/19/2017.

BLACK MARKET - "as originally used during World War II meant the market in buying and selling stolen military supplies, such as clothing, blankets, food, and truck tires.The term had also seen some use in World War I, when it entered English as a translation of the German 'Schwarzmarkt.'" From "I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976). Another source says the phrase got its start in 1931 and meant "unauthorized dealing in commodities that are rationed or of which the supply is otherwise restricted. After a slow start in the 1930s, mainly in the area of currency dealing, the term really took off in the disrupted economic circumstances of World War II." From "20th Century Words: The Story of New Words in English Over the Last 100 Years" by John Ayto (Oxford University Press, New York, 1999).


Phuck 08/19/2017.

nope it just means commercial trade that is illegal under local law for whatever reason

[ Etymonline.com Link ]


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