Black is the color of coal, ebony, and of outer space. it is the darkest color, the result of the absence of or complete absorption of light. it is the opposite of white and often represents darkness in contrast with light. black was one of the first colors used by artists in neolithic cave paintings. in the 14th century, it began to be worn by royalty, the clergy, judges and government officials in much of europe. it became the color worn by english romantic poets, businessmen and statesmen in the 19th century, and a high fashion color in the 20th century. in the roman empire, it became the color of mourning, and over the centuries it was frequently associated with death, evil, witches and magic. according to surveys in europe and north america, it is the color most commonly associated with mourning, the end, secrets, magic, power, violence, evil, and elegance.