Facts, History, and Meanings of the Color Black

A collection of facts, history, meanings, uses, phrases, and lore about the color black.



History and Lore: Black is the total absorption of all colors and the absence of light. It was used for mourning by the Egyptians and Romans, and today almost all countries associate it with death and mourning. Black has also been recognized to imply humility and secrecy. It is frequently associated with witchcraft. In India and other countries in Asia, black represents the serfs and slaves. In the Hindu Upanishads, the black color of the fire was considered to be the color of the earth.

Daily Uses: Because black on yellow has the greatest visibility of all color combinations, it is used frequently on street signs as well as for advertising. It is a very important pigment to the artist because it combines well with all colors. The black of night fosters a pure imaginative mood, because it provides freedom from distractions.

Colorful Phrases: Black death, Black Friday, black hand, black eye, blackout, blackballed, black magic, black as sin, blacklist, black belt (karate), blackjack, black market, in the black.

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