Monday, November 14, 2022

Published November 14, 2022 by with 0 comment

The Surprising Origins of the High Five

The high five is a staple of celebratory gestures in sports and beyond, but have you ever wondered where it came from? It turns out that the high five has a surprisingly obscure origin story.

According to some accounts, the high five was first performed by two baseball players, Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke, in 1977. After Baker hit his 30th home run of the season, Burke greeted him at home plate with an upraised hand, and Baker slapped it in what would become the first high five.

However, other sources suggest that the high five actually predates this moment by several decades. In fact, some historians trace the gesture back to the African American community in the 1920s and 30s. During this time, a similar gesture known as the "low five" was popular, in which people slapped hands at waist level. It's possible that the high five evolved from this earlier gesture.

Regardless of its origins, the high five quickly caught on in the sports world and beyond. It became a popular way for athletes to celebrate victories and milestones, and it even spawned variations like the "fist bump" and the "chest bump".

In recent years, the high five has taken on new significance as a symbol of unity and support. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, healthcare workers and others have used the gesture to show appreciation for one another's hard work and dedication.

So the next time you give someone a high five, remember that you're taking part in a tradition that spans decades and has roots in multiple communities and cultures. It just goes to show that even the most seemingly simple gestures can have complex and fascinating histories.



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