Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Innovators

Jackie Ormes: The first female African American cartoonist

Nancy Goldstein Feb 26, 2014
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

For this next installment of our series, we take a look at the career of cartoonist Jackie Ormes. We asked Nancy Goldstein, the author of “Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist,” to explain what made Ormes special: 

People often ask me – what made Jackie Ormes so unique? What was original about her? What did she bring in that was new? Well first of all, here comes a 5’2”, all of 105 pound little lady into a newsroom full of men, at a time when women weren’t really in the newspapers that much but certainly were not cartoonists.

What she brought was lead characters that were female. They were intelligent, they were sophisticated and witty and sometimes brave. They were shopping, they were going to concerts, taking music lessons, going on road trips – really living the upscale life in a way that defied those stereotypes and caricatures of blacks that you see in comics that were in the mainstream press.

But underneath, she often had protest and satire. She was fierce. And many times, her drawing pen was her weapon. She took on racism, taxes and labor strikes. McCarthyism. United States foreign policy, the Cold war, education and jobs. She was the first cartoonist of any kind to bring out environmental pollution. In one particular episode, she shows how the water is befouled by the drainage from the factory and how the air is full of smoke and soot. Talk about contemporary.

In 1985, a reporter interviewed Jackie Ormes and she said to him, “I’m just so surprised people remember me.”

It took about 30 years for another African American cartoonist woman to come along. 

Click on the pictures to see some of Ormes’  comics:

1. On the Emett Till trial: October 8, 1955

2. On housing: February 11, 1950

3. On racism: March 12, 1949

4. On World War II victory gardens: June 30, 1945

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Marketplace helps
you stay financially responsible all year, now we need YOUR help to balance our budget. 

Help us reach 2,500 donors by June 30!

We’re counting on you today!

Marketplace helps you stay financially responsible all year, now we need YOUR help to keep our budget on track.
Donate NOW to help us hit our target of 2,500 Marketplace Investors by June 30!