Jackie Ormes Draws the Future
The Remarkable Life of a Pioneering Cartoonist
A stirring picture-book biography about Jackie Ormes, the first Black female cartoonist in America, whose remarkable life and work inspire countless artists today.
Zelda Jackson—or Jackie—was born in Pittsburgh on August 1, 1911, and discovered early on that she could draw any adventure. A field she could run through as far as her hand could draw. An ocean she could color as blue as she liked. As she grew, Jackie put her artistic talents to use, doodling and chronicling daily life for her high school yearbook. But she was already dreaming of bigger things.
Jackie would go on to create bold and witty cartoon characters—Torchy Brown, Candy, Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger—who entertained readers of African American newspapers like the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender. She tackled racism, pollution, and social justice—and made the world listen. Jackie was the first Black female American cartoonist, but she would not be the last.
Author Liz Montague, one of the first Black cartoonists at the New Yorker, carries Jackie's indelible legacy forward in vibrant text and evocative cartoons.