The Concept of Black and White

Shyla Seepersad
3 min readJun 16, 2021
Credit: Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Absence of Color

Okay, get this —

Everyone says that black is the absence of color. But what about white? What is white?

I believe that black is not the absence of color, but rather too much color.

Think of it like this: let’s say you have some paints. You have each color of the rainbow, and they are all the same shade. If you mix equal amounts of each color together, you’ll probably get a dark murky brown. Dark brown is very close to black.

Now, let’s say someone had every single color. Every single color the eye can see, including darks, lights, neons, pastels — All of it. And that person took a drop of each, the exact same amount of each of all those colors, and mixed them together. What would they get?

Black. It has to be black. Sure, the light colors would lighten it up a bit, but the dark shades would rule over them. It will get such a murky, dark brown that it turns black. Therefore, black is not the absence of color but rather too much color.

Here’s another example: when I was in elementary school, we did this science experiment. I don’t exactly remember how it went, but I remember someone put black paint on a white tissue and dropped some water on it. Black did not start streaming down; no, all these different colors started to come out. It was mostly reds and greens, but other colors also appeared, like purple, yellow, and blue. That experiment was breaking down black, seeing what was inside it. And that’s the thing: it’s color. Black is too many colors mixed into one.

Now, let’s say we put white paint on that tissue, and dropped water on it. What would come down? Nothing but white.

There is no color we can mix to get white. White is just white. You can’t create it.

That’s because white is the absence of color.

Not black. White is the absence of color. You just can’t make it. You can’t make white.

Absence of Light

That’s not the only thing to grasp, however. People also say that darkness is the absence of light.

While that is true, I want you to think of it more like this: Light is the absence of darkness.

If we think back to theory of the Big Bang — Our universe was small, compacted into seemingly nothing. Then suddenly, a big explosion arrived, and our universe was created.

But what existed before our universe? Nothing, right? And that nothing, it wasn’t white. It wasn’t light.

It was black. It was complete, utter darkness.

We can see this even in our universe today. Space is dark, only illuminated by stars and light. Darkness is what exists. Darkness doesn’t need anything to arrive. It’s just there.

However, light need things in order to appear. It needs energy. Light came after darkness.

Therefore, light is the absence of darkness, because light needs darkness in order to exist. It needs an opposite. However, darkness just exists. It doesn’t need light in order to exist. Darkness isn’t the absence of light: darkness is darkness.



Shyla Seepersad

I write mostly fantasy and whatever crazy stuff goes through my head. I’m also an artist, music composer, and witch.