Celebration of African fabric through Art, Fashion, and Design

The colour black


To me, unsurprisingly, the colour black is “darkness”, emptiness, sadness. This said, I don’t dislike wearing black. Sometimes, black is just what I need in order for my accessories to stand out (or anything colourful that I pair it with). Black is beautiful. It’s “passe-partout”. It’s complexe and fascinating. I remember many years ago I was so against wearing black I had a “rainbow” wardrobe and only a couple of items in black. As the years passed, now I look at my wardrobe and the colourful rainbow has mostly been replaced with darker colours. One day I realised that and I wondered why. This is one of the things that motivated me to start this colour journey.

On a side note black is at the forefront of many talks at the moment due to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Also, on the 2nd March this year, I feel like my life was “thrown into darkness”. All of which make my relationship to the colour black, somewhat an interesting one. It’s also made it quite difficult for me to write about this colour. It has made me “face my demons”, face the facts, revisit difficult situations, but I think and hope this is all part of a healing process and that I will get through this, one way or another.


For some, it’s a colour, (e.g. a black colouring crayon), for others it’s not a colour, it’s the absence of light. In the visible spectrum, black is the absorption of all colours. Black can be defined as the visual impression experienced when no visible light reaches the eye. It is said that a black object absorbs all the colours of the visible spectrum and reflects none of them to the eyes. Black was one of the first colours used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. French artist Renoir believed that the queen of all colours was black.

The word “black” comes from Old English blæc (“black, dark”, also, “ink”), from Proto-Germanic *blakkaz (“burned”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhleg- (“to burn, gleam, shine, flash”), from base *bhel- (“to shine”), related to Old Saxon blak (“ink”), Old High German blach (“black”), Old Norse blakkr (“dark”), Dutch blaken (“to burn”), and Swedish bläck (“ink”). More distant cognates include Latin flagrare (“to blaze, glow, burn”), and Ancient Greek phlegein (“to burn, scorch”).


In the world of chakras, the colour black, like the colour red, is associated with the base chakra, which is the first primary chakra, also known as the root chakra. The colour black is protective, grounding and calming. It activates and strengthens the magnetic, or feminine energies in the body.  It also activates the subconscious mind, putting life, and all that goes with it, back into perspective. In Feng Shui (a way of harmonizing your home, office, and other environments), black is associated with the water element and evokes power, mystery, and calm.

Meaning, symbolism & cultures

Black means power and control, hanging on to information and things rather than giving out to others. It’s intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable because of the power it exudes. It can prevent two-way communication because of its intimidation. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power. Black absorbs negative energy. It is useful to carry something black with you to protect you from harm and negativity when traveling or when going about your usual daily activities outside your home. Black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. In many western cultures, black is the colour of mourning and is often used to represent evil and death. In ancient Egypt, black represented life and rebirth.

Wearing black

When it comes to clothing, in a recent study, black was ranked as the number one favorite colour for both genders combined. It is often seen as a colour of sophistication, as in ‘the little black dress’, or ‘the black tie event’. Black is often used in fashion because of its slimming quality. People likely choose to wear black because they prefer to blend in and not make any statement. However, too much black can cause depression and mood swings and create a negative environment. It is best to use some colour with black to lighten and brighten its energy.

Black and you!

How does black make you feel? What does black mean to you? What does black remind you of? Do you like to wear black?

While you wait for my next post, why don’t you browse my shop to see how you can add a bit of colour to your life?


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