Spider-Man is one of the most easily-identifiable characters in comic book history, but when I recently received a message from a colleague about artist Kumasi J. Barnett's paintings based on the character, I could barely recognise him. Instead, all I saw was myself and all of the other black men living in America who keenly understand that despite our most valiant efforts, we are largely still seen as menaces to society.
Tagged With blackness
My older brother watched Dragon Ball Z every day growing up, and I still hear young black men talking about it all the time. On the train, I hear black teenage boys sharing their takes on Dragon Ball fighting games.
When I meet black men my age, ones who scoff at my love of anime, they still know what I'm talking about if I mention Saiyans. On Chance the Rapper's 2016 album, Colouring Book, he drops a line about Dragon Ball Z character Krillin amidst sincere proclamations of his faith on the song "Blessings."