Token Icons: The Black Power Ranger

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For us 90’s kids, it goes without saying how important Saban’s own Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers were to our childhoods. The Power Rangers taught me plenty of important life lessons from the value of teamwork and friendship to how expressively cool you look turning your back to a massive explosion… again real valuable lessons.

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The OG Mighty Morphin’ Cast will always rise above the rest in the annals of Kid’s Television History. If you have younger siblings like I do, you too may or may not have followed the series a little bit longer than was age appropriate, so trust my opinion on these matters.

Every boy in America wanted to be just like Jason, the Red Ranger: He was the leader, his zord was the most famous dinosaur—the T-Rex, and he was dating our first crush—Kimberly, the pink Ranger. Red is my favorite color to this day because of how much influence Jason had on me as a child.

But this article isn’t about Jason, it’s about the reason these first seasons of Power Rangers will remain special in the hearts of many. It’s about the special fact that there existed NOT ONLY a Yellow Ranger who was an Asian-American teenager named Trini (R.I.P.), BUT ALSO the fact that there was a Black Ranger named Zack who was…indeed… Black.

Subtle.

But it doesn’t end there, simply being a Black man who happens to wear a black costume doesn’t land you in the Token Icon Hall of Fame. Oh no, Zack The Black Power Ranger didn’t just wear black, Blackness was centered in his core identity.

Allow me to explain,

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Zachary “Zack” Taylor, our high-top-faded hero, is described as an “energetic, charismatic, and fun-loving young man.” Who “enjoys athletics (such as basketball, American football, and scuba diving), dancing (especially to a fresh beat bumping out his friend’s boombox), parties, and girls.” As if they didn’t want to make it all obvious

enough, Mr Taylor “created his own fighting style, called Hip Hop kido. The customized art consisted of dance-like maneuvers flourished with fast and powerful strikes.”

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In other words, Zack Taylor was blackity blackity black y’all. He was not about to let any amount of drama or crisis get in the way of his style, and I for one, really enjoyed it all

So a few notes.. um: DID Y’ALL REALIZE THIS DUDE ONLY HAD 4 FINGERS THIS WHOLE TIME?!?

If you don’t believe me, look for yourself:

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Also, not for nothing, Kimberly and Zack sure spent a lot of time together alone…

Once the Green Ranger Tommy came into the scene, I remember one of the continuing plot points was how she would bounce to and from Tommy and Jason in a weird love-triangle-for-children direction that seems a little advanced considering we were barely learning to read when this originally aired. So all that being said, I don’t know how obvious they were trying to hint at a little interracial fling for Ol’ Kimmy girl in-between all the Red-Green drama. Seems a little progressive for early 90’s children’s television programming, but here at Some Tokens we’ve learned to respect the game. Play on Playa

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And So we introduce another edition to the Token Icon Hall of Fame: Zack Taylor, the Black, Black Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger

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