The official website of Brandon Black.

Posts tagged “White Man’s Burden


      \’blak\ adj.
           1. Of the color black
           2. Covert, clandestine, surreptitious <~ ops>
           3. Secret, unknown, fraught with import and intrigue <a ~ purpose>
           4. Free, unregulated, hidden <~ market>
           5. Possessed of richness and depth <~ chocolate>
           6. Weighty, important, heavy or serious <a ~ intrigue>
           7. Complex, obscure, dense, difficult to understand, impenetrable <a ~ tome>
           8. Of or relating to praeternatural powers, sorcery and/or magic <the ~ arts>

One of my objectives with my writing is to re-engineer Western Color Symbolism and to erode the symbolic connections between “dark” and “black” with “evil.” I admit I’ve had a tough time convincing some people of the importance of this, particularly, to my deep regret, the young, who just don’t see it as terribly relevant. It pains me to see Black people using the word black in that sense. I point out to them that part of the racism that drove Europeans to conquer half the planet and take everything that wasn’t nailed down was the sense they had that they were doing something good and proper by doing so — the White Man’s Burden can be expressed in no more clear fashion than the idea that it’s okay to bring the “light” of Western civilization to “darkest” Africa. It wasn’t that long ago that the Mormon Church taught that the dark skin of Africans and African-Americans was the “Mark of Cain,” the first murderer. And so, I’ve always tried in my work to show darkness as I see it — a wondrous thing, a miraculous thing. To me, the night sky is not a place that holds terrors but a place of mystery and delight, a source of aspiration and contemplation. And that’s what the color Black means to me.