Black: The Color

Black: The [Absence of] Color

Is black a color? The official definition of black is the absence of color, but the question really isn’t that simple. Think of the little black dress or black tie worn on special occasions. Black lace is sexy and seductive; black sackcloth is for mourning. If the black sheep of the family wants to join an exclusive club s/he might well be blackballed. Black ops are secret military operations ; black magic is practiced by evil witches.

Black velvet is elegant — unless painted with Elvis, poker-playing dogs, or saucer-eyed waifs. Picture Victorian ladies clothed in rustling black silk ornamented with black jet mourning brooches. Black is the romance of midnight — clandestine meetings amid the deep shadows. Black is truffles and caviar, squid-ink pasta, and shiny black mussels. Black is lacy, wrought-iron balconies and shiny marble floors; glowing ropes of Tahitian pearls; and Lightning Ridge opals, rich, swirling color against a deep, mysterious backdrop. Is black a color?
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