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I am currently displaying an image on boot and when I press a button I want to show a black screen. My idea is to just load up a second black image in the background with qiv and then switch to it. My problem is that I don't know how to switch back and forth between windows programmatically. Or perhaps I could use qiv in slideshow mode but I don't know how I would trigger the next slide.

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I don't know qiv. I had similar problem. One of the possible solution is to use any GUI in full-screen mode and display black background/image. I used pygame:

import pygame
import time

pygame.init()
pygame.mouse.set_visible(False)

screen = pygame.display.set_mode((0, 0), pygame.FULLSCREEN)

screen.fill((0, 0, 0))

done = False
while not done:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            done = True
        elif event.type == pygame.KEYDOWN:
            if event.key == pygame.K_ESCAPE:
                done = True

    time.sleep(0.01)

pygame.quit()

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