In a visual communication course last fall, I created a short video using Adobe After Effects. The assignment was to explain a design principle while conveying information using time and motion. I chose a principle from William Lidwell’s book, Universal Principles of Design, called “black effects,” which lays out a set of cognitive and behavioral responses to the color black. I took this as an opportunity to challenge the principle by reviewing the long, nuanced history of black while cautioning against negative associations with the color. In the video, I argue that this principle relies on harmful assumptions that overlap with a system of discrimination and racism.