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Observing The BlackGuard Entry 1: Mercer and Melanin

27 Feb 12
Jerrod Smith
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I have begun my sessions with the super(hero?) team, The BlackGuard. They are quite unlike any other group I’ve counseled before. In the short amount of time I have spent amongst them, I’ve noticed a bevy of complex relationships among the members of the group.

In these series of entries, I will be discussing how the teammates see, and interact with, each other. There will be a total of fifteen entries, each covering a different pairing. Without further ado, I’ll begin the first entry with subjects Eli Mercer and Afia Melanin.

What makes the dynamic between Mercer and Melanin so interesting is the fact that, at first glance, one would think they have a lot in common. In a way, I guess they do. Both seem to take a great deal of pride in being of African American decent. Both see that the black race is far from reaching its true potential. Both are dedicated to seeing that the race moves forward. Both agree on the destination. Where they differ is on the path to take.

Mercer feels the best way to help African Americans is by focusing on the problems within the race, eliminating them, and then uplifting his “brothers and sisters”. Melanin, on the other hand, focuses her attention on destroying what she perceives to be the enemy (the white man). I’ll put it this way: If, metaphorically speaking, blacks are at ground level and whites are standing at the top of a latter, above our heads, Mercer works daily to build another ladder for his people to climb so that they can stand on equal ground. Melanin would rather just push the whites’ ladder over, preferably into a pit.

Mercer is well aware of the harm Melanin’s brute strength combined with her radical nature could do to race relations. I’m beginning to think his reason for recruiting her into BlackGuard was less for her rehabilitation and more for the sake of preventing her from bringing about a full-on race war.

Melanin respects Mercer for what he has accomplished in his life, but believes he does not have the conviction to bring about the “revolution” they both seek. She prefers to take the fight to her opponents, which often puts her at odds with her leader, who does not have quite as much confidence in her as she has in herself.

I guess this is a good place to stop for now. Next Entry: O.D.A.N. and Jonnie Staples.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium




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