July 11,2013—, 2013 -- Maybe you were too young to love former Power Ranger Walter Emanuel Jones this way, but now you're all grown up.
Though Jones only played the Black Ranger (aka Zack Taylor) from 1993-1994, he remains a cultural icon.
Campy and spandex-laden, the Power Rangers were often ridiculed for having a black Black Ranger. Just last fall, sketch-comedy duo Key & Peele spoofed the Black Power Ranger on their Comedy Central show.
However, according to a SAG report, African Americans accounted for roughly 8 percent of daytime TV roles in 1993. The study points out that African Americans were least visible on Saturday-morning kids' shows. So all jokes aside, Jones is a pioneer who inspired our generation.
The stats have only slightly improved over the last 20 years. TV roles for African American actors peaked in 2002 at roughly 15 percent before dipping towards 13 percent in 2008. Not exactly go-go power worthy.
Naturally, we're thrilled Jones took the time to speak with Fusion. Charming and pensive, he's much more than the Black Power Ranger. Watch him discusss what it was like to inspire a generation of millenials.
Elise Roedenbeck is a writer and comedian who frequently smells nice and crushes easily.