Black to the Future Book Cover

Black to the Future

By Mizz Mercedez

As a Baby Boomer growing up in south Minneapolis, I for one had built up quite a collection of comic books. My favorites at the time were Superman, Batman, the Green Hornet, Green Lantern, and Flash. And no, there were no superheroes represented who looked like me back then.

There was also the myth that African Americans were merely consumers who made no contributions to this country, when in fact so many of the products we use today were created by Black inventors; other than a very brief reference to George Washington Carver, these facts certainly weren’t taught in school during my childhood. That being said, it is my pleasure to bring to you Mizz Mercedez’s comic book Black to the Future.

Black to the Future combines the vivid visuals of a comic strip drawing in children and adults alike, with short biographies of Black inventors past and present. Each story features a product we use, followed by the inventor’s story. Featured inventors are Thomas J. Martin, Augustus Jackson, Alexander Miles, Dr. Patricia Bath, Frederick McKinley Jones, Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, Madame C.J. Walker, Lonnie Johnson, and Marie VanBrittan Brown.

Mercedez’s comic book also gives a shout-out to contemporary inventors and entrepreneurs such as Semaj Sheppard, Levelle Timberlake, Cameron Smith, Ebony Yarborough, Destiny Roberts, Michael and Stephanie Wright, MN Venom, Brian and Rdella White, and Margaret Sullivan. Don’t be surprised if you recognize local businesses in this list.

The late Johnson Publishing Company founder John H. Johnson stressed the importance of the inventions and businesses in the community in terms of 1) finding a need 2) meeting the need and 3) doing it well. In reading this book, the inventors succeeded in meeting all of the above. In her creative genius, Mercedez succeeded in making it relevant to children as well.

Black to the Future is available at In the meantime, thank you, Mercedez, for your creativity in bringing the past and future together in the present. I look forward to further editions.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.