Tag Archives: RZA

Quoted: The RZA on Metaphors for the Black Man in America

In this culture, some of the deepest wisdom comes from horror movies. A perfect example is Night of the Living Dead. That movie and its sequels teach you about life.

For one thing, Night of the Living Dead predicted the dawn of crack. If you lived in the hood in the ’80s, you saw that movie come to life on the street. There’s a reason Public Enemy titled that song “Night of the Living Baseheads.”

Secondly, Dawn of the Dead was the great metaphor for American society.  The zombies were Americans, just walking through the mall, lost, trying to find excitement outside of themselves.  They forgot that excitement is not buying a new TV; it’s taking your shoes off and walking in the grass in your backyard  All those movies were really showing us ourselves.

When I first saw Night of the Living Dead, I was scared to death.  But when I watched it again at age sixteen (when they were up to Day of the Dead), I’d gotten knowledge of myself, and could relate to what it was saying about America.  The dead were alive, but they were blind, deaf, and dumb.  So to me, they were symbolic of black men in America. Continue reading