Media Release — The Cartoon Art Museum welcomes author Nancy Goldstein for a slideshow of cartoons and comics from her book Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist on Tuesday, June 15 at 7:00pm. The suggested donation for this event is $5.
Jackie Ormes (1911-1985) drew sophisticated, smart, outspoken black women comic characters that defied the usual mammy stereotypes in comics of the era. She was a pioneering woman cartoonist at a time when men dominated newspaper cartooning.
Goldstein first learned about Ormes while researching the Patty-Jo doll, a beautiful, lavishly dressed black child doll that Ormes modeled after a character in her late 1940s Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger cartoon in the Pittsburgh Courier. Goldstein knew a larger story must lie behind this upscale black doll created at a time when Topsy-types and dolls advertised as “picaninny” were the norm.
While researching the cartoon character and doll in microfilm of vintage newspapers, Goldstein became fascinated with Ormes’s bold verbal and visual commentary. In the Patty-Jo cartoon, Ormes satirized hot topics of the day, such as the HUAC, the nuclear arms build up, and environmental racism. Ormes’s political life drew the attention of the FBI during the Cold War years and she became a target of investigation.
Goldstein realized that the bigger story lay not with the doll but with Ormes’s cartoons and comics. The result is the book, Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist (University of Michigan Press, 2008). In 2008 the book was named an American Library Association Booklist Top 10 Biography of the Year, ALA Top Books on the Arts, and Best Books of 2008 by the Village Voice. Goldstein’s Web site http://www.jackieormes.com has cartoon samples and commentary.
About Nancy Goldstein
Born in San Francisco, Nancy grew up in Southern California. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in English in 1964 and worked briefly as a writer for the Los Angeles Times before becoming as a stewardess for Pan American World Airways. She received a B.S.N. in nursing from Eastern Michigan University and R.N. in 1975 and practiced as a pediatric nurse at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Nancy’s hobby is doll collecting; she is a judge for the United Federation of Doll Clubs and has written on modern dolls for research journals. Nancy is a docent at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
Nancy and her husband Larry live in an historic home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and their two sons and their families live nearby.