Dragon Ball Art – The Black Goku
The Black Goku’s back, my brotha! Get your pimp suit on, don your bling and puff up your golden afro, ’cause it’s time to hit the streets!
Dragon Ball Z was at its peak of popularity in the early 2000’s. At that time, Goku and the other characters of DBZ were assimilated into African American culture.
One of the results was a transformation of the characters into “black” versions of Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo and the other main characters.
There was a popular website that sprung up to specifically showcase this perspective of African American Dragon Ball fans. It was called DaBlackGoku.com.
The site ran from 1999 to 2003. It stopped being updated shortly afterward and then got lost to time.
Luckily I was able to find the site in the Internet Archive and download the pictures that were still accessible. I now have over 320 Black Goku pictures.
Then I went through a selection process, picked the best ones, color corrected and cropped them into today’s art gallery.
Since I had already showcased a few in the original The Black Goku article, they won’t be repeated.You can read more about the phenomenon there.
This gallery is different from the others in the Dragon Ball Art series. It’s not about displaying beautiful art. The idea is to show people how Goku and friends were assimilated by children and teenagers in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to become “black.”
A lot of the art is really unprofessional. Some of it’s a little better. None of it is exceptional. But the quality is irrelevant. It’s the message behind its creation that matters.
The fact that it EXISTS is worth sharing. You can’t find this anywhere else on the internet. That alone makes it valuable.
The sociological message behind it makes it even more fascinating. Try looking past the technical side and into the philosophical side. Why was this art created? Where did it come from? Who made it and why does it exist?
What you see here is a time capsule of Dragon Ball fandom. A thin slice of a sub culture within a sub culture.
Anime was on the rise but wouldn’t become “mainstream” until around 2004. Yet these fans took Dragon Ball to their hearts and produced something the world had never seen…
A Black Goku.
The Black Goku Art Gallery
“Mr. Popo. By most views he seems to be a pretty normal guy, but look at it another way. Mr. Popo though fragile looking has out… d after god after… and this porob… er end. Could … po is acctu… true god?”
Da Black Goku is Back!
Dragon Ball Z had a far reaching and profound impact on African American youth, and Da Black Goku website was only a single manifestation of its effect. Just the tip of the iceberg.
The series is still fondly remembered by millions of fans today, including Wu-Tang founder, The RZA, as he talks about in his book, The Tao of Wu [aff].
You can see a connection between the two in the image with Majin Vegeta, where instead of having the Majin “M” on his forehead he has the “W” symbol of the Wu-Tang Clan.
I can’t help but wonder, if Da Black Goku website were around today, what type of art do you think would be up there?
Fortunately there was so much great fan art that I couldn’t showcase them all in one post, so stay tuned for another Black Goku art gallery in the future!