I remember being immediately drawn to this particular image for the purity of colors found within the composition of sharp contrasts. Blood- red + midnight-black + dove-white carefully and cleverly supported by twin tassels of Inca-gold made for a picture worthy of repeated viewing, and subsequent sharing (with all of you equally aesthetically inclined individuals). Just to amuse myself, I imagine the model as a jet-black beauty juxtaposed on pearly-white backdrop of snow clutching golden petals, or a golden goddess posed against the infinity of cerise, arms laden with black roses; all possibilities equally compelling and capable of holding us visually captive. Different groups appreciate colors quite differently based on their specific cultural context; in the East, white is associated with death, while in many countries of the Western world, white is associated with purity, innocence, cleanliness, illumination, and perfection. We are all aware of the meanings synonymous with the color black, such as death, evil, the unknown or the fearsome. Language used in popular culture today as well as speech and literature throughout history reveals a bias for the negative, which still persists. Whom amongst us has not heard of: a black-out, a black-eye, being black-listed or being the black-sheep, trading in the black-market or engaged in black-mail. Certain terms such as the LBD (little black dress), a black-tie affair, operating in the black, and, having a black-belt are certainly positive connotations of the word black, yet their effectiveness at changing perceptions, particularly in the arena of race or politics or power is debatable. The Native-Americans (in the regions now known as the USA) associated black with life-giving soil, a fact of little importance to the majority of our citizens today. The Maasi tribes of Kenya and Tanzania associate the color black with rain-clouds, a symbol of prosperity, life and regeneration; and in certain countries within Asia, the color black is welcomed for all the reasons most Americans avoid it here. Yet, the mere mention of white, as in white-house, white-bread, white-meat, and nods or smiles of recognition are easily noted from coast to coast.
Would George Zimmerman have acted in the manner he did, if instead of seeing a black-boy wearing a dark hoodie, it had been a white boy wearing a white hoodie. I presume not. Tragically, the incident unfolded like a horrible scene from a crime-drama, leaving 17 year Trayvon Martin dead of a gunshot wound to his chest. Is it perhaps foolish to wish that Mr Zimmerman had been able to visualize Trayvon in all his colorful incarnations, ranging from pure and wondrous (WHITE), or a confident and courageous being (RED), earthly and orderly (BROWN), demonstrating traits of endurance (ORANGE), one who appreciates beauty (PINK), happy, joyous, and wise (YELLOW), truthful and peaceful (BLUE), in a state of well-being (GREEN), wealthy and wise (GOLD), magical and mysterious (PURPLE), even GREY the color associated with some sorrow as well as maturity. The outcome could have been so different if Trayvon could have been glimpsed fully in all his radiant psychic beauty--BLACK, the color of restful emptiness in which everything and anything may emerge and disappear and reappear; the color of potential and possibility. Sadly Mr Zimmerman, the self-proclaimed neighborhood watch-captain, choose to succumb to paranoia and fear, and is now requesting immunity from prosecution under Florida's law which allows one to use deadly force in order to protect one's life. While some of the facts still remain unclear, it's highly unlikely that a stocky man carrying a concealed weapon has much to fear from a gangly school-boy returning from the local snack-shop. And around the nation, people of all colors watch and wait in disbelief, and shock, and horror.
PS: Today's soundtrack is HAKI MONU's Irradiate Your Inner Move