General Question

autumnxxx's avatar

Is black even really a color?

Asked by autumnxxx (1points) July 10th, 2009

someone told me it wasn’t?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

Les's avatar

Black is the absence of color. So technically, no. It isn’t a color.

But. For all intents and purposes, it is used as a color, so it is a color. Does that clear things up? ;-)

Ivan's avatar

Well, black is what we see when no light is being reflected off an object. So I guess it depends on how you want to define “color”.

RandomMrdan's avatar

If someone asked me what color shirt I was wearing today, I would say “Black”

autumnxxx's avatar

yeah, i get that. but its confusing to me XD

RandomMrdan's avatar

There are Black color crayons

autumnxxx's avatar

so my hair really isnt black? lol

RandomMrdan's avatar

I guess your hair is an absence of color?

autumnxxx's avatar

hahahha that’s funny. i’m gonna say that next time someone asks what color my hair is

marinelife's avatar

This is a hotly debated issue. Here is an excellent article espousing both sides and coming up with the answer I think is most correct. Excerpt:

“The color of a tangible object originates as a molecular coloring agent on the surface of the apple. We see the color of an object because that object reflects “a color” to the eye. Every color is the effect of a specific wavelength.

No, black is not a color; a black object absorbs all the colors of the visible spectrum and reflects none of them to the eyes. The grey area about black:
A black object may look black, but, technically, it may still be reflecting some light. For example, a black pigment results from a combination of several pigments that collectively absorb most colors. If appropriate proportions of three primary pigments are mixed, the result reflects so little light as to be called “black.” In reality, what appears to be black may be reflecting some light.

In physics, a black body is a perfect absorber of light.”

autumnxxx's avatar

cool, thanks for clearing things up! :D

sap82's avatar

Yes it is. White is not, though. It is the absence of color.

marinelife's avatar

@sap82 What is your source. White, in fact, is a color.

“Yes, white is a color. White reflects all the colors of the visible light spectrum to the eyes.” Source

Les's avatar

@sap82 : White is all color, not the absence of color.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I agree with @RandomMrdan. A box of Crayola never lies.

autumnxxx's avatar

my friends name is jamie lynn.

Bri_L's avatar

Ice blue pink is not a color, unless your talking about a particular brand of nail polish.

There is the technical definition of black as it relates to color in color and light and there is the functional definition in color and light.

cyn's avatar

What if…the green I see is the red you see, but you name it green?

sandystrachan's avatar

@cyndihugs Thats called colour blindness

Bluefreedom's avatar

Crayola has a black crayon mixed in here somewhere and if black is good enough to be a color for them, it’s good enough to be a color for me.

Here’s a sentence straight out of Wikipedia (that pseudo-factual website according to some):

“Black is the color of objects that do not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of light. Although black is sometimes described as an “achromatic”, or hueless, color, in practice it can be considered a color, as in expressions like “black cat” or “black paint”.

cyn's avatar

@sandystrachan so all of us are colour blind?

AstroChuck's avatar

There is no such thing as a true black crayon. The same goes for garments, hair color, etc. All of those are very dark shades of blue, green, brown, whatever. True black is just a total absence of light. It you can see three dimensions then it’s not really black as light is being reflected (that’s all The color of an object really is anyway. It’s just what wavelength of light is reflected from it). If you want to really see black, go deep into a cavern and turn off the flashlight. That’s real black you’re seeing.

AstroChuck's avatar

@cyndihugs- Only those who don’t live in the United States.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

<—- has spent some time in a deep cavern with AstroChuck with the flashlight turned off. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. :-) sorry, AC, but your hands were really cold.

Zendo's avatar

Of course black is a color. Why else would they call colored people blacks?

sunshine123's avatar

I thought white is the absence of color and black is all the colors , (if you mix blue , red ,purple,,etc you will get black..)

Ivan's avatar


Other way around. When you mix paints, you aren’t mixing light, you are just changing which frequencies of light get absorbed or reflected. Black absorbs all colors in the spectrum; red paint absorbs all but red, blue paint absorbs all but blue, purple paint absorbs all but purple, etc. When you mix all of these together, you are creating a concoction that absorbs every frequency of light; we call this ‘black’.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther