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Drawing a Dialogue, Episode 15: Jackie Ormes, Her Comics + the Black Press


Drawing a Dialogue, Episode 15: Jackie Ormes, Her Comics + the Black Press

Cathy G. Johnson

Artwork by e jackson.

Artwork by e jackson.

Drawing a Dialogue is a podcast discussing comics in historical + educational contexts by Cathy G. Johnson + e remus jackson.

Episode 15: In this episode, Cathy + e create a biography for Jackie Ormes. Born in 1911, Ormes was a cartoonist, reporter, fashion designer and community organizer during an important century of American history. Cathy + e discuss the seminal role Ormes had in the black press during a pre-civil rights movement America, notably challenging derogatory caricatures of black women of the time.

Contact:, Twitter

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Episode Citation:

  • Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist, Nancy Goldstein, 2008 - University of Michigan Press

  • Correction: The Ormes’ move to Salem, Ohio in 1937, a few months before the end of Jackie’s 12 month Torchy Brown series.

  • Drawing a Dialogue, Episode 12: History of Racism + Physiognomy in Cartooning - Link

  • Jackie Ormes -

  • “Meet Jackie Ormes and Torchy Brown,” Jasmin K Williams, 2012 - New Amhurst News

  • “‘Shuh! Ain’t Nothin’ To It’: The Dynamics of Success in Jackie Ormes’s Torchy Brown” Edward Brunner, 2007 - MELUS

  • More information about the “Cotton Club” - Link

  • “Jackie Ormes: the first professional African American woman cartoonist,” Uchenna Edeh, 2017 - The Weekly Challenger

  • Various dates for historical events were sourced from Wikipedia and Infoplease: Link

  • “The Aesthetics of Environmental Equity in American Newspaper Strips,” Veronica Vold in Ecomedia, 2016 - Routledge

  • Jackie Ormes paper collection notes: Black Metropolis Research Consortium - Link

  • Q+A with Nancy Goldstein by the University of Michigan Press - PDF

What are we reading?

  • Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas - Link

Theme song by Downtown Boys