Black on Black

Meaning of “Black on Black”

The phrase “black on black” means the violent interaction between the African American or black community. However, it is often taken in the sense of criminality. This is a very sentence phrase to talk about especially during the racial tensions in the community.

Origin of “Black on Black”

The phrase “black on black” is stated to have emerged in the late 60s after the racial riots in the United States. Its earliest print record has been found in the newspaper, The Chicago Daily Defender, in its 1968 publication of the month of March where it goes thus; “The violence of black man stabbing black man, mugging black man stomping black man, raping a black woman. Black on black.”

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Black On Black Murder…..Addressed by James B. Earley

Sharpton and Jackson..both Reverends
…Silent on the subject…but hounds
Posturing..politicizing…yet nary a word
Not even a the ‘Burial Grounds’

The happenings a ‘ghetto’ phenomena
…Historically…without any doubt
Black on Black murder…prevalent
Despicable…as Giuliani points out

The title makes it clear that the poem shows racial segregation which echoes in these two stanzas. The phrase means that the black community is against their own and killing them, while the campaigning is going on. The phrase has been used in the second stanza where it means the same thing. The name of the political figures, events, and situations point to the stereotyping imposed upon the black community, further explaining the meanings of the phrase.

Example #2

Black On Black by Bun B, Gunplay, Ace Hood

Okay now guess who’s back
In a black Maybach
With a black card on me, better know it’s straight like that
… we black on black, black on black

These first few lines of the lyric show that even if the black people join the elite class by buying Rolex, they are still black people and called “names.” The phrase has been repeated several times in the lines to show that it is actually the black people who are against the black people. It is important to know that skin color doesn’t make one rich or poor. Violence against the same community is evil. 

Example #3

Black on Black: Twentieth-Century African American Writing about Africa by John Cullen Gruesser

This book is a comprehensive study about African American or black writings about Africa specifically in the United States. Du Bois and Alice Walker’s works have given rise to the black studies and literature about Africa and African people. John Gruesser highlights the Harlem Renaissance and its impacts on African culture, it has also pointed out its link with Africa. In other words, the researcher wants to suggest that though the African American community in the United States writes about itself, it still goes back to Africa. The use of the phrase does not show the warring nature of the race; rather, it points to literature in the subtitle.

Example #4

White on White / Black on Black by George Yancy

Racial segregation, difference, distinction, and racial understanding is the key to black and white binary. This book is a unique contribution to understanding this philosophical binary. The book has given a total of fourteen philosophers and how they have encountered this race trajectory in their ideas. The use of this phrase as the title of the book highlights its meanings as to how black understanding their conditions.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “Most of the plays are showing black on black in a way that it shows them, addicted criminals.”

Example #2: “They are fighting like black on black.”

Example #3: “I have lived in the community of the black in almost the same setting and the same situation where they act in the same way. In fact, it exhibits the situation of black on black.”

Example #4: “When he sees, the black people were living over there in those ghettos away from the city. The children were black, the women were black and it seems that everything was black on black.”

Example #5: “Most of the people are habitual of thinking black on black but some people may have objective thinking.”