Melanophobia (from Greek melano, “black”) is fear of the color black. The fear may develop due to the fact that black symbolizes mourning, evil, plagues, and death. People who fear dirt or becoming dirty can also cause this color phobia for people who associate dirt with black. Sufferers of melanophobia avoid things that are black; encountering or even thinking about the color can cause anxiety. Since black is very common, sufferers may have difficult time to avoid seeing black, often resulting in uncontrolled anxiety when there are a bit of black around. This makes life lot more challenging.


The color black is usually a symbol for mourning and is a symbol for something dark or evil. Fear of the color black is called melanophobia. This fear can surface for many reasons, it can be due to memories and emotions that resurface when this color is seen. Color black can be perceived sometimes as grieving, plagues or death. Black can also represent as darkness for other people. Those who fear the dark may also fear the color black.

Sometimes this fear can have a racist factor. Some may fear blacks because of a bad experience or encounter with someone who is black. Some may associate black with dirt and this fear of getting dirty contributes to this phobia.


Melanophobia is not, as the definition writer above postulated (italicized words only), negrophobia which I wrote about in an earlier post. When a fear of Black people is present, that is a racist fear. Fearing the color black is totally different. It’s not a phobia that Goths tend to have or they would wear white, an ugly ‘uncolor’ if I ever saw one. I went through a Goth phase of my own some time ago and still prefer to wear darker colored clothing versus pastels, baby pale hues, and bright shades. When I was a teenager, I was fat and believed dark clothes – especially black – made me appear slim (though in actuality I still came across as a whale).


I do think that there is a loathing of the non-color, so it’s been termed, black. People do associate it with death (I don’t), evil (not me), and dirtiness (nope). I find black a sexy color, unlike white which many relate with virginity, innocence, and purity. I think guys in black leather – not those leather bar queers of course – are extremely virile looking and a damn turn on. In fact, I am guilty of having once bought outlaw biker magazines for more than a year, just because the renegades on Harleys or Indians inside the pages wore a lot of leather, and it was always black. No matter that the majority of outlaw bikers are White supremacists – it was the look of the black leather that reeled me in. I’m still a sucker for a guy in a black leather jacket and moccasin boots.


I guess you could say that I, the former Goth girl, am a definite melanophile. Too bad the whole world isn’t, maybe life would be less of a struggle for those of us who call ourselves ‘Black’.


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