What is ..........BLACK
Myriad Meanings & Constructs of BLACK
What is Black exactly? Black is so many things and is always different in its contextualities. It is the absence of light. It is even not considered to be a color. In fact, it is a no color or more aptly put the lack of color. It is the diametrical opposite of white. It is the void. It is also the beginning and the end. It is nothingness. It is beyond the beyond. It is darkness personified and magnified. To put it more succinctly, it is the darkest of the dark not only physically but emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. It is beyond a physical, mental, and emotional hell. It is a feeling of being beyond redemption, an utter and desolate despair beyond description.
Black is going into untried, unknown, and uncharted areas. It is trying and doing something which the prevailing society has deemed and proclaimed to be forbidden or taboo. It is exploring the more unconscious recesses of one's being and consciousness. It is knowing and understanding the shadow aspects of one's personalities. It is discovering and not being ashamed of our profound juiciness and unbridled sensuality. It is being totally unapologetic, living life on one's own terms.
Black embodies understated and refined elegance. It is a cool sophistication that is reminiscent of bygone days. In fact, Black is the eternal color. One can say that it is utterly and succinctly timeless. It gives the assurance that does not need to cry out for attention; however, attention is paid nevertheless. It is the quiet color that speaks massive volumes. It's bite and kick is vastly more potent its bark. The color truly exemplifies speak softly or not at all but carry a very, very big stick. It is analogous to the reserved,quiet librarian that have that unspoken allure that men find totally beguiling and irresistible.
Black has an adult and mature sense of a come hither aura. This aura does not play and it means business.This is the aura of smoldering sophistication which is beyond red hot, intense sensuality. It glorifies in being unbridled and totally unabashed passion. One can describe it is totally and wickedly decadent. It is beyond decadent, it's indescribably extreme. It is a sensuality that few people can embrace.
Black embodies the take no prisoners attitude. This attitude is if one decides to play the game, play it all the way, not half heartedly. The attitude is if one elects to play the game half-heartedly, be prepared to face the consequences. It also epitomizes one who is exceedingly, even preternaturally, sharp and have little or no patience for foolishness or other forms of ineptitude.
Black is EXTREME OPPOSITES
Black represent diametrical and/or extreme opposites. Black and white are on the extreme ends of the color spectrum. Besides being diametrical opposites not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. It is also extreme opposites archetypically and spiritually. While in many prevailing cultures, white represents goodness, purity, beauty, fairness, lightness, and other positive associations, black represents evil, impurity, ugliness, darkness, wickedness, and other negative associations.
In most religious symbolism, black exemplifies iniquity and other forms of evil. Benevolent spirits and deities are categorized and symbolized by whiteness. Malevolent spirits and deities are categorized and symbolized by blackness. For example in Judeo-Christian religions, God and the angels are depicted in mostly white colors, exemplifying goodness and light. Satan and the demons are depicted in black or other dark colors epitomizing evil and darkness. Even heaven and other celestial abodes are portrayed as being white/light while hell and the nether regions are characterized as being black/murky.
This religious symbology has carried over to non-religious areas. Daytime has a more positive connotation. It is light and obvious. Everything is on the surface and totally copacetic. It is believed that nothing suspicious is lurking in the daytime. Everything abounds in the daytime. By contrast, nighttime has a more sinister connotation. It is black. Everything is beneath the surface. It is foreboding and evil. It is not copacetic at nighttime. One is warned that he/she had better to careful, be wary as one never knows WHAT and/or WHO is lurking. Nighttime is seen as eerie and scary.
Black is the color of midnight. In fact, it truly epitomizes this part of night. Why not? Midnight is oftentimes viewed as the darkest part of night. It is seen as the time when nefarious happenings can occur and one has to be super vigilant in order to protect themselves from such occurrences. Night symbolizes the time monsters and other denizens are in full array. Halloween, a holiday with a dark reputation, is celebrated at nighttime. One of the colors of this holiday is-BLACK. Many people let their darker personas out on this holiday. It is not unusual to see people dressing up as witches, goblins, vampires, and other dark characters on this night.
This extreme characterization of white equals good and black equals evil extend to books, movies, and television. The good guy and other heroes are dressed in white. The bad guy and villains are dressed in black. If not dressed in such extreme colors, the good guy and hero present a lighter aura and persona while the bad guy and villain present a darker, even black aura and persona. Blackness permeates the persona of the bad guy and/or villain psychologically in order to make him/her evil and otherwise morally reprehensible as to teach a moral lesson. In horror movies, there is often a dark or black background in the film and a black atmosphere is created subliminally in order to frighten the audience. Not only in horror films, there is a genre of mystery films called film noir or black film. Such films show the dark underside of society and has a dark, even black undercurrent as its premise.
Black is BEYOND, UNAPOLOGETIC,& CONTRADICTORY
Black can be classified as the beyond color. There is no way to describe it. No other shade is and will be like black. It is everything and more. One can add that it is extreme in more ways than one. Black is a color that cannot be easily defined. It simply IS. It means so many things to many people.
Black is ultimate sophistication. It is black caviar garnished with lemon and crushed ice. It is sinuous and sensuous black velvet. It is an elegant black silk decolletage gown. It is a black suit, It is a crisp black cashmere coat. It is a black crocodile purse. It appeals to the more adult and mature among us if not chronologically but mentally and emotionally. It has a sophistication that is forever. It is the color of timelessness, infinity. It speaks volumes in a soft voice.
Beyond physical sophistication, it represents a full bodied sophistication. It is a luscious, sultry jazz. One is reminded of the late Sarah Vaughn and Carmen McCrae. This is serious jazz, not for the uninitiated and novice. It is also a darkly intense love ballad, the late Barry White comes to mind. Black is a color that has been around and knows the world and its ways. If it was a perfume, it would be an oriental spice with undertones of musk, amber, and leather.
Black is also cutting edge and totally unapologetic. In films, the antihero always wear black leather. There is nothing more edgy than a black leather jacket worn with a white t-shirt and jeans. There is nothing more macho than a black leather jacket. In fact, black leather is the epitome of attitudinal edginess. Wearing all black leather is more of a take me as I am statement. It is defiant without being very obtrusive. Nothing is more edgily chic than either a pair of black studded leather boots for men or a pair of black high heeled boots for women.
Black is a color of contradiction. It is simultaneously subdued and edgy, plain and sophisticated, austere and bold. It is the all color to all people. Black also represents different fashion symbolism and psychology to different people. To clergy, black represent self-denial and renunciation of worldly concerns. To bikers, black symbolizes an unashamed defiance of societal conventions. To fashionistas, black is the always go to chic color where one can never go wrong.
Black is TABOO, SHADOWY, MYSTERIOUS
Black has been associated with what is hidden, beneath the surface, the occult, forbidden, and taboo. It also has a mysterious reputation. It symbolizes what we have been warned against and not do. It is forbidden delights. It is the joy of doing something what one was not supposed to do. It is something that polite, conventional society would disapprove of. It is something beyond the parameters and rules of polite, conventional society.
The otherness of black is its appeal. The other is oftentimes marginalized in society, whether it is nature, concepts, and/or people. The other is considered to be the societal outgroup, relegated to second class status and see as lesser than by the societal ingroup. The societal ingroup is oftentimes demonized and stigmatized by the societal ingroup. It projects and displaces their more primal beliefs onto the societal outgroup. In the perception of the ingroup, the outgroup is doing what the former cannot, is prohibited, and forbidden from doing.
Another appeal of black is it decadent forbidden quaity. When we are forbidden to do something for one reason or another, it piques our curiosity. The aspect of something being forbidden makes us want to do more. We want to break that taboo. In our minds, NO ONE is going to tell US what, when and how to do. We will do what we want and as we please. After all, rules are made to be broken and breaking the rules is what make life oh so interesting and intriguing.
Black also has a shadowy representation. It is one's most unconscious and forbidden,taboo thoughts. It is antiestablishmentarian and anticonvention. It is also our darkest and deepest desires. It is a part of our personalities which is not polite, pretty, and/or personable. One can see that black represent our more negative side and consciousness. It is part of ourselves that we often hide, ignore, and do not wish to admit or accept.
Part of its hidden quality is its aura of mysteriousness. Black is the color of mystery . It is a sensuality which is slow and sinuous. It does not reveal all at once. It reveals bit by bit but still keeps some things hidden. It is a sweet delicious delay. It believes in letting things simmer before coming to a conclusive, climactic crescendo. It refuses to reveal all at once as it will kill the anticipation. What is life if not a mystery?
Black is everything yet has an element of nothingness. It is the undercurrent of mysteriousness and being forbidden. It is sophisticated magnified and subdued. It is the dark of night. It is deliciously and wickedly decadent. It is cutting edge. It is the hidden aspect of our collective psyche and unconscious mind. It is what we wish not to present to the world. It is unapologetic being and living life on one's terms. It is pure, unabashed, and unrepentant evil. It is beyond time, place, and space. It is the ultimate frontier whatever that may be.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
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