The Zulu kingdom holds a special place in both popular culture and historical scholarship. Zulu—a famous name, easy to spell and pronounce—is as recognizably American as gangster rap. The website of the “Universal Zulu Nation” (www.hiphopcity.com/zulu_nation/) explains that as “strong believers in the culture of hiphop, we as Zulus … will strive to do our best to uplift ourselves first, then show others how to uplift themselves mentally, spiritually, physically, economically and socially.” The Zulu Nation lists chapters in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Miami, Virginia Beach, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Haven, Hartford, New Jersey, and Texas. Mardi Gras in New Orleans has featured a “Zulu Parade” since 1916. The United States Navy underscores its independence from Britain by using “Zulu time” instead of Greenwich Mean Time. Not to be outdone, the Russian Navy built “Zulu Class” submarines in the 1950s and Britain's Royal Navy built a “Tribal Class Destroyer,” HMS Zulu. The common factor linking black pride, Africa, and prowess in war is the Zulu kingdom, a southeast African state that first attained international fame in the 1820s under the conqueror Shaka, “the black Napoleon.” His genius is credited with innovations that reshaped the history of his region. “Rapidly expanding his empire, Shaka conquered all, becoming the undisputed ruler of the peoples between the Pongola and Tugela Rivers … In hand-to-hand combat the short stabbing spear introduced by Shaka, made the Zulus unbeatable.” In South Africa Shaka's fame continues to outshine all other historical figures, including Cecil Rhodes and Paul Kruger. A major theme park, “Shakaland,” commemorates his life and Zulu culture. A plan was unveiled in 1998 to erect a twenty-story high statue of the Zulu king in Durban Harbor that would surpass the ancient Colossus of Rhodes.