The goal of this cognitive linguistic analysis of adjective+noun compounds with black and white in the modifier position is to present the semantic and conceptual network of the meanings of black and white. The relevance of such a research is fundamental, firstly, because color is basic in perception, thus, also in conception; secondly, because black and white are basic within colors. It is generally assumed that, not only are they the main colors, black and white are – equal and co-dependent – complements of each other. The present analysis questions the validity of such a claim. Black and white do not always have the same functions and values. Based on the general idea of cognitive linguistics that language is a window to the mind, the study suggests that the way these color terms behave in compounds reflects the conceptual characteristics of the two colors, as individual colors and as – unequal – complements. In other words, the present analysis, while using linguistic material as evidence, aims to uncover the mental map that underlies our conceptualization of the culturally crucial notions of black and white.