Many people think that black and white was the only option in the early days of photography. In fact, experimental colour photography was being practiced as far back as the mid 1800s. In around 1907 the Autochrome colour plate was introduced commercially and soon several competing technologies became available. Early colour photography was very difficult and expensive to produce and so was not widely used by the professionals of the day. The majority of early users would have been wealthy hobbyists. Eventually, in 1936, Kodak released Kodachrome 35mm colour slide film and colour photography gradually became more accessible.
Professional photographers and photographic artists however considered colour photographs to be rather gauche and shunned the format entirely. All serious photography was shot in black and white and colour was used by happy snappers. In the 1950s advertising companies started producing colour ads which further galvanised the notion that colour was an inferior medium and not suitable for serious work.
Fast foward to the 1970s and colour film had become mainstream among amateurs happy to send their films off to a lab for processing. A handful of professionals, most notably William Eggleston and Joel Meyerowitz, thumbed their noses at convention and started producing work in colour; likely as a form of rebellion against the establishment. Their work wasn't popular at first and took quite some time to be accepted. Eventually colour film was no longer considered to be a controversial choice and nowadays, is actually the default choice.
I think the main reason I find black and white imagery more compelling is that just about all of the photographers that I really admire shot in black and white. Most of the truly memorable photographs I've seen were taken on film in monochrome. I know Ansel Adams took a number of shots in colour over the years and experimented with it quite a bit but who can recall any of them? All his best work was done in monochrome.
I almost exclusively prefer black and white for portraits. People just seem more interesting in monochrome. As far as landscapes go, again, I usually find black and white more interesting and I find myself looking more deeply into the image than I would if it were in colour. I don't think that black and white is best in all circumstances but the more minimalist the scene the more it lends itself to monochrome tones. Take the two photos above as examples. In hindsight I think I shot them the wrong way around. I feel the first image would have been the stronger black and white composition. The second, while I don't think is bad, is busier. It may well have worked better in colour.
There are some colour photographers whose work I really like. Wim Wenders springs to mind. I really admire his ability to find wonderful photographs among mundane subjects. I've actually been to a William Eggleston exhibition and it was great. His colours are highly saturated but it works so well with his style.
I'm a member of a few photography groups on social media; mostly film and darkroom related but also a couple of general groups. At least once each week someone will post two images: a colour and a black and white version of the same shot and ask people which they prefer.
I wouldn't go as far as to say it grinds my gears but I do find it mildly annoying. For starters I genuinely don't know why people ask "which one does everyone prefer?". Are they asking because they lack conviction in their work or just fishing for compliments?
Secondly, if you put that question to ten different people you'd probably get five for one option and five for the other. If you can't tell if it's a stronger image in black and white it most likely isn't. I suspect people are looking through the hundreds of frames they shot that day and found one that they thought might look better in monochrome. It's an accident at best.
This seems to be the way most people shoot these days. They're shooting in colour and, if the image lends itself, converting it to B&W.
If you are interested in producing works in monochrome, by all means post your photo, but ask more experienced photographers for advice. A much better question to ask would be "how could I have made this shot better?".
To shoot monochrome successfully you need to look at your compositions differently, pre-visualise how the finished shot will look. Look for shape, and texture, and contrast and plan your composition around these things. Try to limit the number of elements in the frame. You almost need to imagine the world in black and white.