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  • Jamie Bass

An Ode to the Special Color Black



Out of all colors, Black, you are definitely the most self-absorbed.


You transmit and reflect no light, you reveal nothing, and you do nothing to lighten the spirit. You bring about a lot of effort and strain since, in order to see you, the eye must do most of the work. At your core, you are mysterious, exuding either the sentiments “You figure it out” or “I am unique and not easily identifiable.” American women in the South do not typically don you in their clothing for the simple reason that you connote a resistance to traditional conformity. Of course, at your other extreme, you can signify calamity and disaster and are the color of mourning in our society.


But even though you are primarily concerned with yourself, you can offer something to others. You can create a feeling of great intimacy in a small space and provide a feeling of protection. We can use you in eating areas to aid in digestion and in bathrooms and libraries to support concentration. You can be used in the lobbies of leading-edge businesses to suggest independence; in corporate boardrooms and executive offices to denote power; and in theaters and romantic restaurants and on satin sheets in bedrooms to create intrigue and mystery. You can also invoke egocentricity in others as well, since using you in public spaces is our culture’s way of singling someone out.


You should be avoided when people feel depressed so that their emotional state is not tipped towards morbidity and when the people, space, or activities are very intense or overwhelming. You also don’t really belong in bedrooms, healing spaces, activity rooms, service organizations, or children’s spaces.


Black, we secretly think you’re kind of a diva. But we’d never say it to your face - we would hate to wind up on your (black)list.


Curious about other colors? Check out our Odes to Yellow, Blue, Red, Orange, Green, White, and Bubble Gum Pink & Purple.

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