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Is Black Beautiful? Essay, Research Paper

The denotative meaning of the word black means the absence of light and the darkest of all colors. By mixing all the colors in the rainbow you also can get the color black. Researching the word black made me think about the connotations of the word and its many meanings that differ from the definition of color in the dictionary. When black is added onto a noun it turns from a color to a negative adjective. I am beginning to understand why many African Americans do not want to be labeled as “ Black”. African American society has taken the negativity of the word and has managed to use it in a positive way.

Black is unclean, depressing, dismal, and nasty. These are some of the synonyms that are in the dictionary. People use this word and don’t know the real meanings. For Example, John decides not to go to college like the rest of his siblings, he is then labeled “The black sheep of the family” (one regarded as a disgrace). A person can also be black hearted (evil or wicked) like the devil or have a black mark (a mark of failure). The Grim Reaper is faceless and wearing a long big black hooded cloak carrying an ax of some sort and is a stranger that has come to lead you into hell. When someone has died in your family you wear the color black to the funeral. Some of the reasons people wear this color are because it represents sadness, mourning and death. Death is a serious thing for one little word to be associated with. I think these are some good reasons why a race of people would not want to be called black.

Black is strong, uplifting, and unified. These are some of the words that have stood in for the negative ones. African Americans realize that they will always be called black so why not make some changes. African Americans have used words like Black Power (the political and economic power of American Blacks concerning equal rights and respect) in their favor and by adding the once negative word it changes the meaning completely. Some other statements widely used are Black Pride and It’s a Black Thing! I think these words promote a sense of worth in one’s culture because sometimes other cultures can make you feel ashamed of being black or even looking black.

I have come to the conclusion that being black is not a bad thing. Those negative words have been wiped out over time. The word black has been reconstructed and reanalyzed to fit this ever-changing society. Finally, Black is Beautiful!

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