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Black can mean several things:

Color or Light Black can be defined as the absence of visible light. For example collapsed stars, which due to their intense gravity can neither reflect nor emit light, are called "black holes". Pigments that absorb light rather than reflect it back to your eye "look black." Conversely, the combination of all colors of light is called white.

In terms of pigment, however, black is the combination of all (pigment) colors. If equal proportions of primary pigments are mixed, the result reflects little light and so is "black."

This creates two opposite yet complementary definitions of black. Black is the lack of all colors of light, or the combination of all colors of pigment. See also Primary colors and Primary pigments.

This can be explained as follows: the red pigment, for example, absorbs all light except red light; red light is reflected, and thus our eye sees the pigmented object as red. When many pigments are combined, whatever would have been reflected by one of the pigments is absorbed by the others. Thus no light escapes. (no visible light, that is; ultraviolet, for example, might still be reflected, unless some kind of "ultraviolet pigment" were added.)

Race The term black is also used for people with dark skin color, usually people from Africa. For example, in the USA, African Americans are commonly called, and call themselves, "black." Australian Aborigines are also commonly called black.

Usage, symbolism, colloquial expressions In western society black tends to have a negative connotation. In arguments things can be black or white, or shades of gray, the intensity used as an analogue for things such as truthfulness or right and wrong. (Note that when referring to the intensity of pigment or light, black is always the complete lack of intensity.)

Black is often used in painting and film to express the unknown or death.

In English-speaking cultures, black is the color of mourning, though this convention is less strict than in earlier times, when widows and widowers were expected to wear black for a year.


People whose surname is or was Black include


Black Army: a supporter club for AIK, Stockholm, Sweden.

The athletic teams which represent the country of New Zealand are called the All-Blacks[?].



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