The RZA on DBZ and Black Men

the rza on dbz and the black man in america tao of wu

“Dragon Ball Z represents the journey of the black man in America.” That’s what the RZA, founder of the Wu Tang Clan, says in his most recent book.

I recently finished reading The Tao of Wu [aff] by the RZA because a reader of The Black Goku article suggested I should. I’m glad I did because the book provides insight into how Dragon Ball Z may have influenced the RZA’s life.

On page 54 the RZA says that Kung Fu cinema inspired the foundation of the Wu Tang Clan and that Dragon Ball Z relates to black men in America.

He says, “Take even a cartoon like Dragon Ball Z. I mean, it’s a cartoon, but it’s one of the deepest cartoons in history. Its hero, Son Goku, starts out as a kid, begins martial arts training like San Te [the protagonist from “Thirty-sixth Chamber of Shaolin”], and goes off on a quest for seven balls that unleash dragons that can grant wishes. Now, that’s a fantasy, obviously, a children’s story. But it’s also based on a sixteenth-century Chinese folk novel, about a Buddhist monk who travels to India to find the Buddhist sutras. That voyage represents a journey to enlightenment. But to me, Dragon Ball Z also represents the journey of the black man in America.”

Wait a second. An anime created in Japan based on an ancient Chinese legend represents the journey of the black man in America? That’s a provocative statement, don’t you think?

He says, “You see it more clearly as the story goes. You learn that Son Goku is part of an ancient race called the Saiyans, who come from a distant planet and were known as the fiercest warriors in the galaxy. So Son Goku has superpowers but doesn’t realize it—a head injury destroyed his memory, robbed his knowledge of self. Then one day, he gets stressed beyond his limits and Hulks out into his alter ego, Super Saiyan—a nigga with dreadlocks. (Get it?)”

That’s the first time I had ever heard a Super Saiyan described as a “Nigga with dreadlocks.” Luckily, drawings of this concept already exist circa 2001!

black gogeta rza dbz goku

RZA continues, “This kind of story comes up in world literature, even in the Bible: Abraham is told his seed will be lost for four hundred years, in a land not their own, not knowing who they are or where they’re from. That’s the story of the Jewish people, but it’s also the story of the black man in America.”

“So I say WE are the Saiyans; I even use the name Goku as a tag when I write. And when my hair is in an Afro? Word up: I’m Super Saiyan.”

The RZA equates black people in America with the Saiyans. He says that when he puts his hair into an afro he symbolically connects with the Saiyans, as if he is staying more true to his roots, just as Goku and Vegeta connect with their roots when fulfilling the legend of the Super Saiyan.

First the RZA creates an analogy between Goku and the Tang Monk in Journey to the West. That I completely understand and I’ve made the same correlation myself.

And then he says that the Saiyans are relatable to the black man in America and the Jewish history of exodus. That is interesting, and I don’t think the RZA is the first person to have these thoughts, but he may be the first celebrity to ever put it in writing.

the rza reading the tao of wu book 2009

The RZA – © Wikimedia Commons

I have written extensively about how African Americans received Dragon Ball Z and assimilated it into their culture by creating Black Goku Art, along with the other characters. To me the entire concept is an intriguing, seemingly unrecognized area of social studies that a whole Masters or Phd thesis could be written on. Alas, nobody but me and the RZA seems to take it seriously.

The RZA probably relates the persecution of the Saiyans with the persecution of the Jews and the slavery of blacks because they’re a native people from a far off place that get pulled into a foreign land and get treated as if they were lesser people, forced to do the bidding of an overlord. The persecutor could be Freeza, slave traders, or the Pharaoh of Egypt. It’s the same principle, in that someone is being persecuted by an “unrighteous” authority figure.

Overall, if I understand it correctly the idea he’s trying to project is that there’s wisdom in these stories, both ancient and modern. History repeats itself again and again. Also that there’s a feeling of pain in those subjected to racism or mistreatment that is universal and timeless.

From a storytelling standpoint, it’s a fact that Akira Toriyama draws heavily from myths and legends in Dragon Ball, and persecution is an effective tool in the storytellers arsenal. He uses it frequently with the Saiyans. Especially for Goku and Vegeta. It’s easy to see why the RZA makes the connection.

super saiyan black vegeta with a wu tang symbol on his forehead

Super Saiyan Black Vegeta with a Wu Tang Symbol on his Forehead

The RZA continues on page 62 with some philosophy.

“Today, some brothers get mad at me saying things like this. They say, “Why you fuckin’ with Chinese dudes? How come you talk to Caucasian motherfuckers like they’re brothers?” I know how they feel. And I bear witness that Allah is one, the Father of the black man, who must take his proper place as God of himself. But over the years, I came to believe the basic lesson of Mathematics is the same as that of Taoism, Buddhism, and every great spiritual path. It’s that we all have the potential to become like God.”

“Even Son Goku eventually learns how to develop chi on his own, to become Super Saiyan at will. And today I believe we’ve all got a Saiyan inside us, because God is in each of us. That’s what we’re all trying to reach, through all the chambers of our lives.”

In this section he talks about personal development and spiritual transcendence. There’s some profound things here, but to make a simplified statement on what I understand, he’s saying that Son Goku is walking the path of the divine. He trains hard, attains Super Saiyan, and then learns how “to become Super Saiyan at will.” This means he can channel “God” any time he wants, in essence becoming like God Himself.

From my perspective I’d say he is talking about human potential and the idea that each of us has the divine within ourselves, waiting to be cultivated. Buddhists refer to it as Buddha Nature: The potential to become a Buddha. Goku attains this state and then learns how to control it with a calm mind.

black goku and black goten fan art afro

There’s a lot more that can be said about the RZA’s comments because they touch on so many different issues at once. The whole book was written with multifaceted, historical, philosophical statements that reflect his life story.

I don’t disagree with his statements and I can see the points he is trying to make. However, I do think they could have been made a bit more eloquently, or sensitively, or I’m not sure what. Just seems a bit rough.

I could talk about these topics for days and really don’t want to end it here, but I don’t want to dilute his message, so please tell me what you think.

Is the RZA right? Does Dragon Ball Z represent the journey of the black man in America?

For more of the RZA’s insights, buy The Tao of Wu.

And read The Black Goku article for the history of how black American DBZ fans drew their heroes in a way they could better relate to.

77 responses to “The RZA on DBZ and Black Men”

  1. Derek Padula says:

    For the record, I’m NOT a racist. Don’t shoot the messenger!

    Alright… carry on.

    • Biba Sen'nin says:

      If anyone finds this racist, they’re missing the point; It is racial, sir, but hardly ignorant or hateful.

      Dragon Ball is a fantastic story not because it is original (though in the shonen genre, it was a game changer -forever-), but because it is all those elements about the human condition we can all relate to. I used Goku’s path to connect to my own better morality, innate within myself but brought out by watching Goku. RZA used his connection with Goku to find a similar strength of character within himself. I dare say Derek has done the same, and all of us who love this show so dearly.

      We all love explosions, epic fights, nasty bad guys, and fun, childish humor. But it is the heart of Dragon Ball that keeps the world over coming back to it, again and again. We are all brothers and sisters.

  2. Shaun Russell says:

    However contrived the connection may be, it is still an interesting point for discussion… and an entertaining read.

  3. A Non GMO Papayaman says:

    part 1

    Hey Namaste Derek and All

    Wonderful Article, Beautifully written from an neutral conscious one point!:)

    I have had many of the same insight as RZA on the Dragonball Z,GT understanding and enlightenment with being a "Black" man in "America", The hair was only one of the first!

    As a Man of Moorish Decent and More (European and Others) but predominantly Black Moor, I had the Afro as I transitioned to Dreadlocks and now my Uubu/Oobo deadlock Mohawk ( or Mu-Hawk as i connect to the ancients of Lemurian, or Mu as it was known. This is also connected to the Dragon World like map, along with Pangaea).

  4. A Non GMO Papayaman says:

    Part 2

    As a young boy I always kept my hair short, subconsciously like a Buddhist monk. My Father, a Pastor, told me that God told him along time ago that he would need to keep my hair short and for certain it was until my 20’s. There is a time in everyone’s life when they are no long a child and transition into adulthood, that is when I decided to grow out my hair. As I took that journey upon myself I fell deeply into the love of DB,Z,GT The symbolism with the 7 ball and 7 chakras, the journey of death and reincarnation (a teaching that was removed from the bible by the church long with countless others gnostic text) and symbolism of the Kundalini Awakened as Goku traveled along ‘Snake Way’ to King Kai palace to raise his power level, As i had recently had something of a unique kundalini awakening myself at the age of 22.

    With my hair Transforming I could see the transition of archetype of the characters flowing within me going from one of being like Krillin, leaving a monetarist like life ( though at the time more Christian based and sub conscious) learning and living a hermited life. Then moving into the ‘walk about’ journey of wisdom into becoming my own self and one with my heart as i learned training/cultivation of Chi under Spiritual Teachers of other faiths, cultures and beliefs, to recognizing that myself as an Indigo Starseed In spirit and soul as Aboriginal of other Worlds, Civilizations, Galaxies and Universes. Seeing the Goku in me grow much like my hair as it started to locked up. In that stage i was able to connect more to my Saiyan Root (pun no intended) and understand the similarity/ symboligies of the myth of why saiyans don’t need to cut their hair and how it can stay up in odd ways, even into Super Saiyan form as i was able to believe deeper and understand how to take hold of Kundalini growth. My locks were able to take all kinds of shapes and forms without the need of any type of hair sprays, as I do use only organic products on and in my vessel. After a while my Lock fell and i felt like I was Super Saiyan 4 Goku minus the tail, of course and many of the super natural abilities or siddahs (though some are present). After being able to be bless with sharing moments with a groups of Tibetan Monks and Geshela’s on two different occasion .The second and strongest influence, when they were living at my spiritual teachers home while traveling across America and myself living walking distance away and very close to my Teacher. I was blessed and gifted to be able to have personal experience with them and being present during a scared healing dance that they only had done in Tibet, which had me sobbing and whaling like .. OMG i don’t even know what metaphor to use…I was so very deeply touched, I cut off the sides in humbled honor and respect of the head pieces they wore ( which was in the shape of a Mohawk. I believe we can see the headpiece shown in a episode or two of DB,Z,GT but i will need to pay attention to some of the world tournaments eps to be sure)

  5. A Non GMO Papayaman says:

    Part 3

    Knowing (Maj)uub is the largest influence of my life as any of the DBZ characters and I am that, I am him even though there are minimal episodes hes in and not much character development, It actually makes it much more personal. There are many synchronizes and I believe connecting is well to me because of the representation of the reincarnation of self. Since being Buu, a lost child, ignorant to Power of LOVE over F.E.A.R (False.Evidence. Appearing. Real) and being brought to an end by the Will of God through the Spirits of the People of Humanity, To being returned to life by the Gifted Understanding of Grace, Mercy and Loving Kindness of Mother-Father God, our universes Angels, Galactic’s and many Ascended Masters as Goku is very much one of them. Remember there are many things "unseen" in many truths, faiths, cultures, believes and who is to say that One’s is any less true because its younger or different from what has been understood, known or believed before. There is mass consciousness in the knowing of the image and name of Goku along with many of the characters in Dragonball and other Myths of Legends and Heroes of Fiction. I was told along ago that All Fiction is Non-Fiction as it is Created in Reality and with the true power of humanity i do Believe this. Needless to say my Kundalini Awakening was very special, as well as my sight of these dimensions :).

    A side note If you will.
    I see (Maj)Uub as truly much more of a Son/Sun to goku than His other two birthed boys. As (Maj)Uub, created specially for Goku by Goku’s wish as a gift, without the need of dragonballs. A universal present to a warrior from the Thanks of the Heavens. I will share more about that later but will take moments. I would need to connect with my heart more to allow myself to share as this is all very true and personal to me, but as i was tought testimonies are strength and sharing is caring <(‘,'<)

  6. PB4 says:

    The most evil guy in the universe is a creepy super-white man and his lackeys (Freeza) and only through inner enlightenment (Malcolm X, MLK, Goku) can the black man (Saiyans) persevere against them.

    Sounds like the journey of the black man in America to me!

  7. cob1 says:

    This is very intense. In response to your question, I think there are definitely similarities between DBZ and the struggle of Black America but, part of that, as mentioned, is that persecution was the story telling tool of the series. But, the RZA certainly has some good arguments that I didn’t think about. The way he explains the super saiyan is interesting. That we all have that spark inside waiting to be released.

    This certainly paints him in a new, even more BA light for me. I really didn’t expect this article at all. But, it just goes to show you, Wu-Tang always had some good stuff say. There’s a reason there rhymes supremely dominate the crap on the radio today. It’s intelligent, deep, and well thought out.

    What I’d like to know is how the black and jewish populations in general feels about the statements he makes. Do fans of these descents feel drawn to the show BECAUSE of that sense of persecution? Do they even think about it? I know I’ve thought about it but, I never made the connection to real life atrocities. I always thought "Can you imagine this kind of thing happening in the real world.." but, it did! …. sans the interplanetary pirating

    • Derek Padula says:

      Those are good questions. I’m not sure how I would go about getting the answers, except maybe to set up a poll, or ask random Dragon Ball fans.

      Yeah, it’s really not that far off from other types of persecution or genocide in our own world. Dragon Ball Z takes everything to the "DBZ Extreme" as I call it, so it just seems so outlandish, but it’s actually very relatable when you look at the root cause or meaning of why it’s in the series. The same thing applies to other aspects of the series, such as the martial arts belief systems, Ki, reincarnation, Heaven, Earth and Hell, etc. It’s traditionally believed we have all of that in our own world already.

    • Formerly White-washed says:

      No, DBZ does not represent the plight of Blacks, Jews, or anyone else;
      it is entertainment. I can see how comparisons can be made though (as well as other media). The world will continue being the way it is, in some cases, the persecutees of the past becoming the persecutors, until someone stands up and breaks the cycle. I won’t be holding my breath.

      I was originally drawn to DBZ in the early 1990s because of my friends. I am a Black man, but I grew up with many Filipinos back in elementary school, and they were fans of DBZ, having seen it in the Philippines. The first time that I saw it was in 1996 when it aired on KCAL 9 early in the morning. From there, I got into the emulated SNES games, read some of the comics online, and finally bought the comics at a local comic shop (I wish that I would have kept them). I was elated when DBZ came back on Toonami after school in the late 90s and early 2000s. I wasn’t into it because of the similarities to the Black experience, but rather the action, characters, and to be able to talk about it with my friends. It is only now, as a young adult, that I am looking into the deeper, more cultural side of DBZ.

  8. JLH says:

    I am an atheist, so the concept of god in all of us; I disagree with but I do understand where he’s coming at. I wouldn’t call it god. Like you said, I’d call it Buddha nature or just a higher state of being like very calmness; where one can alter the state of the body easily with the mind, like blocking out pain. I can see how the Saiyans represent African Americans & the Jews. That makes a lot sense. I think the Saiyans can repsent the Jews because I think Hitler wiped them all out because he feared them just like Frieza. Same could be said for the Native Americans. The story of Goku in the original Dragon Ball seem less like an African American story than Z. In Dragon Ball, Goku grew up with a semi-peacefully life & didn’t have any discrimination. Obviously, he looked a little different from everyone else because of his tail & strength. Other than that, Goku was normal & wasn’t looked at any differently. But, in Z he finds out he’s a Saiyans & the story of them. I think he feels pride of his heritage & feels he has to represent them in… a good way. Bardock visioned him as the Savior, the good heart-ed one who would avenge the Saiyans & show them from a better, peace fuller view. It wouldn’t be the savage Saiyan who killed Frieza but it would be the peaceful one who even offered mercy.
    Being Jewish, I kind of feel the same way Goku did. I would like to represent them in a new way. Tbh, I kinda like the fact that Jewish people created the American comic book industry. I’d also like to eradicate bmw, voltswagon & ford from the world. ford once discriminated against Africans & the german car brands literally put Jews into their cars. Their hair n stuff. just felt like putting that out there. -_-"
    Anyway, I agree with the rest of what he said. lol I am currently reading Journey to the West & I see the resemblance already. Found it cool, King of the underworld; Yama would be in Journey to the West.
    Finally, cool story… bro. It was very interesting & most certainly enjoyed reading & commenting on it!

    • Mike Reach says:

      So are you the atheist kind which doesn’t want to be related to any religion but believes in some kind of "ethereal" prescence, or the kind of atheist who takes basis on eastern religions and philosophies? Please explain this if possible.

    • Derek Padula says:

      Yes, I would agree that Dragon Ball Z had a much larger theme of persecution running throughout the storyline. The main story revolves around the Saiyans in one form or another, and they are persecuted by throughout.

      Good insights on how Goku is more of a "savior" figure than a savage.

      Yeah, isn’t Journey to the West great? When you read the story you can’t help but laugh at the similarities and minor details that ended up in Dragon Ball. Without being familiar with both of the source materials it’s not really possible to understand the homage’s and correlations, but when you are, both of them become increasingly rich and multi-layered.

  9. DerekPadula says:

    Seriously? You’re going to come on to my site and say something racist and hateful? You’re welcome to your opinion and I’m glad to provide a venue for it, but I’m not going to allow comments like this and it has just been deleted.

  10. Desmond Stringer says:

    Dude combined 5 percenter philosophy with a japanese anime…..not gonna lie, that’s interesting

  11. Levelle Lindsey says:


  12. Knowledge says:

    just gonna say the reason why there are not black saiyans because their planet is further away from their son. also they aren’t even white. they’re aliens

    In dbz god is Kami on the lookout tower.
    then its King Kai
    then supreme Kai

  13. xXDapperDanXx says:

    Its interesting what the RZA is saying here but I think its ridiculous(and biased) for anyone to proclaim Goku as representing ONLY ONE OR TWO human races. I’ll perfectly explain why.

    NOBODY online ever considered this viewpoint: What if Frieza represented a huge super nation with a lot of wealth and power( like America). Frieza had the most racially diverse group of henchmen in the entire series (just like America does).

    AND What if the Saiyans represented Japan or another small county that had faced a struggle against a bigger more powerful one. Pretty profound argument I just made!!! More profound than this article.

    The truth is that anyone should be able to feel some kind of connection to Goku because he is supposed to be a relatable character!! The author intended this!! If you struggled to achieve anything in life than you’re already relating to goku perfectly.

    It is cool of the RZA to talk about Dragon ball but it isnt cool of him to make such bold and incorrect statements about such a well known Japanese comic book which children of all shapes, sizes and colors love to read.

    Its just biased to say something like that and a little bit ignorant to think that your people are the only one who suffered from something like that.

    For the record i am Latin American.

    • Hubert Yoshimoto says:

      You know what I think? I actually think Frieza represented Abrahamic religions that were trying to conquer to pre-Christian Europe. If you think about it it’s true. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. had a very diverse group of followers when they conquered.

  14. xXDapperDanXx says:

    First of all Frieza isn’t a white man he is an alien. Second of all, Friezas army was made up of many other races not just one. So you cant just say that frieza represented white people. Frieza really represented a super nation led by a bad man.

    You have to think about this to: what if Frieza represented America. What if the Saiyans represented japan during WWII getting bombed by America. The saiyans could be representing ANY group of people who felt oppressed by a bigger power once.

    Goku himself can represent anyone who faced a struggle before. You cant just say Goku is black.

    Sounds like you dont understand what the other races of this planet have gone through to me.

    • DARK__LORD says:

      goku is not white he isn’t a human he is a saiyan there have some light saiyan (goku) and some who are more dark skinned (turles).Sorry for my english i’m french

    • You're wrong says:

      The Japanese got bombed because they were slaughtering the Chinese for no reason… I don’t think the Saiyans can represent them

      • xXDapperDanXx says:

        The reason Japan got bombed in WWII was because they did not back down after Hitler was already crushed. It took two bombs for the Japanese to finally back down from the war. Go look it up!!!!!

        By the way I know way more about DBZ than the Rza and the guy who wrote this article. To go out and say saiyans are like a human race is fucking retarded!!!

        But if i had to say the saiyans were like a race:
        The BEST comparison to the saiyans is the Native Americans who got almost completely wiped out by white people!! Dont try and argue against me on this.

        Black people are nothing like the saiyans dude get your head out of your ass. Lets all stop acting like black people had it so epicly bad that it was the worst out of everybody. GET REAL SON. I know about history!

        • QuesDoe says:

          If u know about history then YOU should know NATIVE Americans r black people too.. u just hate the fact original ppl can b looked at in this light dont hate!… we get enough of that from our sick world your PPL control… n are ancestors came from planet x… so we ARE like saiyans! And frieza represents Lucifer tryin to extend his time controlling everything .. because you ppl are MONEY hungry blood thirsty control freaks…. I mean u have too admit it most white ppl hold a grudge against ORIGINAL ppl jus like frieza hates all saiyans so jus by your comments we all kno who’s side your On… u prolly worship Lucifer

          • DamnDanMan says:

            I have been called a wetback before by white people. This is probably gonna blow your mind. IM NOT FUCKING WHITE!!
            I’m mexican/spaniard so yeah. Let me tell you the story of how a long time ago some white people screwed my family over. Hundreds of years ago white people came to my ancestors land and chased us away with guns. The Texas government didn’t like mexicans back then so my family got nothing in compensation. We had to live shitty like everyone else. Those people who stole my families land are now billionaires because the land they stole from my us had alot of oil. My family just seems like broke mexicans now.

            I am a descendant of Pedro Longoria. Heres a info source so you know it aint made up.

            You still think I don’t know that white people can be assholes? I know it better than you. My family has been in court for decades trying to get a cut of the mineral rights that rightfully belonged to us but the government is making it really hard for my family to get that money back. And the sad thing is you probably don’t believe me. The government is starting to listen though.

            So you tell me now. Is the government that fucked over my family like Frieza??

            Is my family like the saiyans because we got fucked over by some white people??

            I’m not gonna provide the answer to that. DBZ is a childrens show and is pretty simple. You can make alot of good and also bad comparisons to the Frieza saga but its all SPECULATION and at the end of the day its just a awesome comic book with brutal badass fights against aliens. And aliens are aliens. lmao

          • DamnDanMan says:

            That comment you just made was racist as fuck.

            I find it cute and funny that you think i’m white. I am hispanic.

            “QuesDoe”‘. You are obviously racist against white people. You said that they were all money hungry control freaks. Well that is a really fucked up thing to say about a group of people. By all accounts you’re fucking stupid and racist .

            You also said that white people were like lucifer or something so thats dumb to. Youre a shitty person who uses racism against white people because you think its okay to do that. But youre just some guy who hates white people. Thats called a double standard. Black people can be racist to.

            I’ve been called wetback before but unlike you I don’t blame all white people for one problem.

            You shouldnt be so racist. Go see a doctor you need help dude.

          • DerekPadula says:

            Hey guys. I’m not going to censor your posts because I don’t believe in doing that. But let’s keep it clean. Kids read this site too. And I don’t want personal attacks in the comments.

            Less racist comments. More thoughtful comments. Thanks.

      • xXDapperDanXx says:

        You tell me your theory mister smarty pants

    • Hyun-Jun Seon says:

      But that’s exactly what the article says, you seem to just be looking for a reason to argue his view. The point is that Goku MAY also represent blacks in America. Goku can represent Jews in Egypt, Goku can represent a poor immigrant, Goku can even simply represent a boy growing into a man. He makes the relation with black Americans particularly because Goku is stripped of any connection to his past(like blacks), he later in life meets another “brother” who reveals to him the truth of his roots. At first he does not accept it, then he learns to embrace it as his greatest strength. It’s fine to say Goku is black, it’s fine to say he is white, Asian, latino, alien or animal. That is the point being made here. You are refusing to think relatively.

      • DamnDanMan says:

        Dude Dragon Ball z is a child’s show with no resemblance to reality. DId you know the creator of attack on titan gets death threats because people like you make huge assumptions and say his work is pro-imperial? Stop looking for meaning that isn’t there. Dragonball is shallow and lacks subtext.

      • DamnDanMan says:

        I’m latino and i’m not clammoring to say goku is latino. Because i’m not an idiot like you and can see a child’s tv show for what it is. Have you ever seen Akira Toriyama draw black people though? He draws them really racist looking with big lips and bug eyes. I don’t draw like that. I think Akira Toriyama is kind of racist.

      • DamnDanMan says:


      • DamnDanMan says:

        Goku said the saiyans deserved to die for their war crimes. GO read the manga of dragon ball not the censored american DUB

      • DamnDanMan says:

        Native americans got almost wiped out. Not whites, not latinos. Not blacks. Your argument falls right on its face

        • reality check says:

          Dan you dummy native Americans and blacks and Latinos have the same blood wow so we all most got wiped out.. and there is more than one frieza..

          • DamnDanMan says:

            If we go farther back everyone descended from the same ancient dark skinned people I know that. But we’re talking about now. The saiyans could perhaps more easily be compared to other human people around the world is my point. like native americans etc. I don’t see what’s so bad about making other comparisons.
            I agree they were both oppressed but the native Americans still seem more similar to Saiyans than africans, because they weren’t slaves and also had their native homes taken over. I’m a minority to fyi. I’m not being biased at all here.

          • DamnDanMan says:

            stupid.. Native americans were native to the americas…Blacks were subsaharan… jesus christ lol Im mexican so you probably think i’m black to.

      • DamnDanMan says:

        Goku is closer to Native american than anything so go suck a dick because you’re fucking stupid and look for shit that isnt there.


        • DerekPadula says:

          Dan, if you insult people on my site one more time, then I’m banning you for life. Either write a constructive comment or stay silent. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated.

        • contel says:

          Damn dude. Can’t have an intelligent debate without name-calling and disrespect. Classic internet douchery going on here.

      • DamnDanMan says:

        Frieza had the most racially diverse crew. He only feared the power level of a super saiyan. it wasn’t about race

      • DamnDanMan says:

        ONe more thing: Where are the other friezas? apparently there aint that many. How can frieza represent a race when theres just one of em and his father?

      • DamnDanMan says:

        Basically all you did was agree with me and argue with me at the same time you cock sucker. Why did you even reply

    • Jared says:

      The white man is an alien

  15. xXDapperDanXx says:

    That brown saiyan face with blonde afro looks fucking dumb as fuck bro. The original goku design was way better and if Goku looked like that nobody would have appreciated the artwork as much including black people because it just looks fucking silly.

    P.S They look like brown asians with blonde afros in the pictures up there!!! THEY DONT EVEN LOOK LIKE BLACK PEOPLE

    • DerekPadula says:

      Relax. I didn’t draw them. They’re fan art from kids in the U.S. You can read the Black Goku blog posts here to see more of them. Maybe there’s one you’ll like better.

      • xXDapperDanXx says:

        I like the idea of people creating fanart. Theres really nothing to complain about there. Its no big deal but i think RZA is forgetting that goku was out of touch with his saiyan heritage. Frieza told goku that saiyans were as brutal as he was. And goku replied “they paid for their crimes” implying that it was bad karma that led to frieza killing the saiyans off. At the end of DBZ Goku tells vegeta to let go of the past and all the anger he felt as the fallen saiyan prince. He was telling Vegeta to be happy with life among the humans like him. Saying to move on and create a new race of people and live happily on Earth. I think thats a beautiful message that Goku is sending to both Vegeta and the audience that means love for your fellow man regardless of planet/color. Thats kind of different from what RZA was envisioning. I still like the RZA though and its cool to see a celebrity talking about Dragon Ball its not something you’ll see very often.

      • xXDapperDanXx says:

        One more thing.
        DBZ sends the message that youre stronger if you arent motivated by pride for your heritage. Dragon Ball Z always showed Vegeta letting his Saiyan pride trick him into making poor decisions.

        Vegeta felt unchallenged by Cell so he allowed the villain to go and gain his final form only to create a bigger problem for everyone else. And of course he couldn’t defeat that final form (all this shit to feed his saiyan pride). Vegeta got his ass kicked because of this kind of stuff many times.

        Goku on the other hand is different. when he was facing Buu in the series final arc he inspired a revelation to occur in Vegetas mind. He realised that Goku was stronger than him because he didnt fight for such foolish things as pride. Its all coming straight from the author. Its clear that Goku is stronger than Vegeta because he has better and more innocent motivations. Lets not forget that Goku is confirmed to be “pure of heart”. It really doesn’t get more clear than that.

    • I Quesdoe says:

      Brown Asians r still BLACK PEOPLE DUMB ASS …. IT IS UTTER LACK OF MELANIN THAT MAKES SUM1 WHITE… THE TRU COLERED “NIGGA”… Y BECAUSE AS most CAN SEE he constantly ignorant and cares less for n.e 1 or there opinion , always attracted too the negative side of attraction as his ancestors were and truly colored because if u hit him he turns purple gets cold an turns blue …gets too much of a sun that is naturally original and turns red? …. boi bye stop being a hata kid!

      • DamnDanMan says:

        Dude i am brown with plenty of melanin because i’m latino. All your comments you made to me are defeated by the fact that i’m not white.

        So all that anti-white shit you’re saying isn’t gonna work on me. Try a different approach because i’m hispanic.

        You should also know that anime can be racist as fuck.

        The Dragon Ball Z creator drew racist pictures of black people before. It looks pretty racist man. I think its fucked up and I do not agree with it. He made up racist jokes about black people doing cannibalism. I hope this doesn’t ruin Dragon Ball for you.

        Racist looking cartoon by Dragon Ball Z creator:

        • Guest says:

          I hate to say this but add blonde afros to those black people in the top right corner. thats how a black Goku would really look drawn by akira toriyama. Its very unflattering of an image.

  16. xXDapperDanXx says:

    My god those are some ugly ass pictures you put up there.

  17. jinpao says:

    its totaly true !!! RZA is sharing some wisdom, if someone knows the real history of men, then he knows that dragonball is the key to overcome the spell that has ben put upon the israelites from “god” . the same history of the so called “black” and so called “white” man is to be found in the history of the -jins. TzuFru and SaYa -JINS (children of the air) and (children of the earth) … dragonball describes allmost all storys of the bibel 1:1 ..whith the uniersal symbolisim that is hiden in plainsight ;)

  18. Highervalue says:

    RZA, Lol…

    If anything, the story of the ‘Super Sayiens” represents the story of the Caucasoid races who left Kenya over 50kya (Diop theory). Clearly, as many anthropologists thesis arrive at a dark skin/hair race traveling from Africa/ Libya and thereby transcending by enduring maximum survival of war and weather. These beings finally reaching the furthest place from their origins of African reach Northern Europe and Northern Asia. After thousands of years of evolution, these transcended ‘Sapiens” became “Super Sapiens” by evolving into blonde hair blue eyed beings from enduring the never ending environmental hardships and war fighting. Large blonde, muscular fighting types , i.e. Vikings, Nordics, aka The so called Master Race

  19. Evangelister says:

    All the argumentative comments and negative comments are ignorant. I think RZA has made a good point. He also stated his own interpretation of the series. Meaning he didnt mean it was solely for the black man. HeE WAS SAYING THAT IS HOW HE RELATES TO IT. and even stated others could relate differently too and provided an example of the Jewish people. If you don’t understand that then you obviously didn’t understand how he was coming. Personally I think the pictures are dope and would like to see the saiyans in all nationalities. As a person who frowns upon racism I encourage the pictures of ethnic saiyans whether it be black, latino, indian, or any other versions.

  20. Frank Goita says:

    Freeza: You damn monkey!

    As young black man I felt targeted every time.

  21. Son! I fucks with this article. That’s the realist shit I’ve read in a while. I’ve always made the connection with Saiyan enslavement with what happens in the real world. Bardock – Savior of Detroit lol.

  22. CSA says:

    He conveniently forgets that Saiyans murder every race an inhabitants of the planet their trying to conquer and then sell it off to Frieza or anyone who will pay the price.

  23. Highervalue says:

    The problem with RZA’s thesis is that Caucasoids origins are from Sayan Mtns and they evolved into the blue eyes blonde hair warriors that conquered the world.

    Origin of caucasoid-specific mitochondrial DNA lineages in the ethnic populations of the Altai-Sayan region:

    The data on sequence variation in the first hypervariable segment (HVSI) of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) representing Caucasoid mtDNA lineages in the gene pools of Altaians and Khakassians are presented. Identification of the subgroups of Caucasoid mtDNA lineages found in the gene pools of the ethnic populations of the Altai-Sayan region and the adjacent territories, Altaians, Khakassians, Tuvinians, Buryats, and Yakuts was carried out. All Caucasoid mtDNA lineages belonged to groups H, HV1, J*, J1, J1b1, T1, T4, U1a, U2, U3, U4, U5a1, I, X and N1a. Taking into consideration possible contribution of southern Caucasoid and eastern European components to the formation of the anthropological type of Altai-Sayan ethnic populations, distribution of the revealed Caucasoid mtDNA lineages among the ethnic populations of the Central Asia, Western Asia, Caucasus, and Eastern Europe was examined. The applied approach permitted identification of 60% of mtDNA types the majority of which had southern Caucasoid origin. Less than 10% of mtDNA types were of eastern European origin. The gene pools of Altaians and Khakassians displayed the presence of autochthonous components represented by mtDNA types from subgroups U2 and U4.

  24. DamnDanMan says:

    Don’t write you college thesis on this shit cause it won’t make that much sense.

  25. son goku says:

    i agree. I think i thought this when i saw that everyone looked down on saiyans in frieza’s army. Just how people look down on black people in america. i read the other comments so before damndanman comes and replies. Dont bother. unless you write something half as big as this and dont include insults i wont bother reading it

  26. Wayne Henley says:

    Despite some hidden racism in DBZ (Mr. Popo) there are parallels between black men and the saiyans. Saiyans were practically slaves to Frieza, who eventually committed genocide by destroying planet Vegeta. He often referred to saiyans as monkeys, a term that has in the real world been used as racial slur as well. And this could easily apply to Jews under Hitler as well as Native Americans.

  27. Vidofnir says:

    The Saiyan’s transform into gigant apes and are violent space savages that travel around destroying the planets they land on…. So yes.. His anology seems to hold up

  28. Salix Babylonica says:


  29. Aaron Michael says:

    Moses is Goku. Sent in as a baby with the genetic destiny of liberating the rest of the the Saiyan. Hebrews like Saiyans are the ultimate Trojan horses single cell sleeper agents par excellence. The entire Hebrew nation cell was hijacked by Frieza aka Khazars headed by Pindar / Satan to fulfill his plans for continued World dominance. Native Americans were and are the last bastion of the Hebrew genome untainted by the albino Khazar Dracos. The Hebrews have become the victim and the perpetrator. That is, until Son Goku awakens, and manifests his destiny as Super Saiyan savior of the world and restores all Earth peoples into one race, one family, one body through Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Frieza, beware, your time will soon be up.

  30. Matthew William Millett says:

    Its actually pretty much the opposite. Saiyans were people who traveled to distant lands and conquered the natives to use their planets (resources) for their own wealth and enrichment. Sounds a lot more like white men to me. Goku was never persecuted, he never even had a negative thought in his head which is why in Dragonball he couldnt be hurt by devilman. Africans were never a dominant global force and have never even come close to dominating anything but other Africans. The absolute closest was the Arab invasion of spain but even still they were beaten back and decimated in retribution. Toriama put his feelings about the black race pretty much front and center, the accusations of racism and stereotypical images even got some networks to make popo blue. The real truth is saijins are asians. Its basically an anagram with adding the J to indicate Japanese

    • DerekPadula says:

      Your last sentence is incorrect. Saiya-jin (サイヤ人) is a play on words of the Japanese yasai (野菜, “vegetable”) plus jin (人, “man,” or “people”). That’s why the Saiya-jins are named after vegetables. I do agree that Goku is rooted in Asian culture, but this has nothing to do with the etymology of the word ‘yasai’ that defines his race in the Japanese language. Nor any of the others. Toriyama intended it to be a funny wordplay on common Japanese food, where he rearranged ‘yasai’ to ‘saiya’ and wrote it in katakana (サイヤ) instead of kanji to make it appear alien.

  31. Kakarot Jones says:

    As a young man of color growing up, I really connected with goku. Especially so during the frieza saga. I grew up being called a monkey constantly and all types n words. Seeing goku being called nothing but monkey and lazy and a slave race by frieza who resembles an old plantation owner to the T, and seeing him not let that get him down and overcoming it, drew me in. RZA made a great insight when talking about the parallels of African Americans and Saiyans. Both races enslaved and destroyed, mentally and physically and In the case of goku not knowing his history and knowledge of self, it gets pretty deep if you think about it. Just even the aspect of goku not really being there as a father for gohan because of death and training for fear of death and making a way to protect his family and fight the evils of this world/universe as well as Piccolo basically being step pops resonates as well.

  32. […] os animes não é diferente. Em The Tao of Wu, segundo livro da Wu-Tang Clan, RZA fala um pouco sobre esse processo de reconhecimento que ocorreu entre a população preta dos […]

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