Latin adverbial phrase, used with reference to literary or artistic creation, "without inspiration," literally "Minerva unwilling;" i.e. "without inspiration from the goddess of wisdom;" ablative fem. of invitus "against the will, unwilling, reluctant," according to de Vaan from PIE compound *n-uih-to- "not turned to, not pursuing," related to the source of invitation. With Minervā, ablative absolute of Minerva.
1961, "comedy that deals in themes and subjects usually regarded as serious or taboo," from black (adj.), in a figurative sense of "morbid," + comedy. Compare French pièce noire, also comédie noire "macabre or farcical rendering of a violent or tragic theme" (1958, perhaps the inspiration for the English term) and 19th-century gallows-humor. In a racial sense, from 1921.