The conversation of race in Dragonball

For Black millennials, Dragonball isn't just a cartoon; it's a way of life. The Black community in America has had a long-standing tradition of enjoying Asian entertainment. In my parent's age, the Asian entertainment of choice was the fabled Saturday morning Kung Fu films. The impact that Kung Fu cinema had on Black culture in the 70s and 80s is well documented and evident by the Wu-Tang Clan's popularity in the 90s. 

I arrived at the tail end of the Kung Fu boom in 1988, but I also got to experience the dawn of the anime wave that has currently captured the hearts of Black America. Obviously, anime isn't only for the Black community, but its ubiquity in my culture shouldn't be ignored. 

One could argue that, like the Kung Fu films before it, anime is a cheap and easily accessible form of media, hence its dominance in the Black community. And for Black millennials, no anime is as dominant as Dragonball

Unfortunately, Dragonball is loaded with conflicting messages for Black fans. On the one hand, Saiyans share copious metaphorical similarities with Black Americans, but the series also has some piss poor representation of actual Black characters. In the video linked above, YouTube's Get in the Robot explores the dichotomy of being a Black fan of Dragonball