The meaning of black rubber bracelets

Usually associated with the yellow LiveStrong rubber bracelet worn by Lance Armstrong to support cancer research, rubber bracelets have become one of the most popular, easy-to-wear, socially relevant fashion accessories. The black rubber bracelet, which represents everything from anti-racism to living on the edge, is one of the most commonly worn colours.

Colour Meanings

According to Rubber Bracelets, red rubber bracelets most often stand for HIV AIDS or heart disease awareness; orange stands for multiple sclerosis research support; yellow stands for cancer research or troops support; green stands for environmental issues; white stands for religion-themed support; and pink stands for breast cancer research. Blue and purple represent a myriad of causes and are the most popular colour of rubber bracelets.


The black rubber bracelet was popularised as an anti-racist statement by United Kingdom soccer (or football) players who wore a black and white bracelet that said Stand Up Speak Up. Extremely popular in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, the black bracelet is now a symbol of anti-racism. In a similar vein, in the United Kingdom blue rubber bracelets support anti-bullying with the words “beat bullying,” and white rubber bracelets are used as an anti-poverty statement.

Melanoma, Cancer and Mourning

According to Rubber Bracelets and Live-Strong-Bracelets, black bracelets are commonly used to support melanoma research or indicate mourning. All of the proceeds of the black bracelets with the LiveStrong motto, like the original yellow bracelet, are designed to create awareness of cancer research.

Overcoming Obstacles

Live-Strong-Bracelets notes that black rubber bracelets with the inscription “Faith, Hope, Courage and Strength” are worn to help people realise that they are strong even when facing difficult obstacles or challenges.


The LiveWrong motto, which is used to make fun of the original LiveStrong rubber bracelet, is worn on a black rubber bracelet and represents, according to Stylefeeder, living on the edge with extreme sports like rock climbing, snowboarding and skateboarding. The black LiveWrong bracelet is a symbol of unapologetic individualism and lifestyle choices.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Leah Waldron is the head of Traveler Services at First Abroad, a gap year travel company based in Boston and London. As a travel, research and LGBT news writer, Waldron has publication credit on magazines and newspapers including "Curve Magazine," "USA Today," "The Sun Sentinel" and the "The Houston Chronicle." Waldron has a bachelor's and master's degree in creative writing from Florida State University.