To put it bluntly, yes, they really are black and have been since the beginning. The only way to tell if they are ripe is to put a little pressure on them to see if they have softened up.
Every day, we have been going out to the garden to give a little squeeze. So far, them ‘maters are just not ready to eat. They had better hurry along, I’m itchin’ for a tomato sandwich!