Words Matter

... words are powerful tools

What is Dark Thesaurus?

Dark Thesaurus is an exploration of the hows and whys of the way people use the words “dark” and “black”. Dark Thesaurus includes a catalog of examples. 


Two quick examples

Example One: “It was a dark and stormy night.” This is a cliched but appropriate use of the word dark. The writer is describing a point in time when visibility is low or nonexistent. It is actually dark.

Example Two: “8 Books to Light the Dark Days Ahead” This title from Yes! Magazine is a disappointment because I expected more thoughtful wording from them and because they are using the word dark abstractly to mean bad, rough, undesirable or some other adjective. But maybe I’m wrong. This is what Yes! said about what they meant: 

Hi Gwendolyn,
Winter months are the darkest months of the year for most parts of the world, so that is what we are referring to. And also, for some it is a dark time because of the pandemic, many have experienced loss, so it could be for that as well.

Kimi Mehlinger, Customer Care   She/Her/Hers
YES! Media

Why does the precise use of words matter?

Applying dark and/or black as if they’re synonymous with negative feelings, actions, things perpetuates negative thinking about Black and Brown people. This is not an exaggeration but a calling out of subconscious programming.

If you have a strong reaction to taking the time to figuring out what you or the perpetrator of the misuse of the words means then you are holding on to deeply engrained racist thought patterns. Stop it.

Examples … I’ll list as I encounter …

I have a number of ideas about what to do with the examples I find. For now I’m just collecting them here.

<h2>Black Mirror</h2> Source: Netflix – This sci-fi anthology series explores a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.”
This is Netflix’s description of a show they list u