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Black Index, White Index

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"In the beginning it was all black and white."
Mechano Faktur, Henryk Berlewi

"You can't go wrong mixing classic graphics in black and white. It's very Parisienne."
Brad Goreski

Black and white, respectively, the darkest and lightest values in visible light. While not being true colors, they contrast better than any pairs of actual contrasting colors, be it red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple (though these last two are considered the most similar to the black/white contrast in terms of color space). Consequently, black contrasted against white has a long history in symbolism. How this symbolism generally works varies from culture to culture— western societies generally view black as malevolent and white as benevolent, while in East Asia white typically has a more somber connotation. Regardless, the contrast between the two values is a universal source of symbolism, and as such is rife for trope fodder in media.

Similar to the Rule of Index caveat, just because "black" and "white" appear together in the name of the trope does not mean they fit this index. Nevertheless, for indexes of tropes relating to the black and white colors individually, see Tropes in Black and Tropes in White, respectively. Compare Gray Tropes, Good and Evil for Your Convenience and Good Colors, Evil Colors. Not to be confused with the separate Black Index and White Index, which (though there is overlap) are about people of... color.