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Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist Hardcover – February 21, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A stylish woman holds a newspaper behind her back as a perky little girl enters the room and says, “I don’t want to be touchy on the subject . . . but, that new little white tea-kettle just whistled at me!” Published in the wake of the 1955 murder in Mississippi of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American who allegedly whistled at a white woman, this is one of hundreds of seductive, technically exceptional, and slyly hard-hitting newspaper cartoons created by Jackie Ormes (1911–85), “the first and only” African American woman cartoonist of her time. An artist of conscience and a prominent activist, the glamorous Ormes entertained, inspired, and provoked readers with her unique female characters, especially precocious, sharp-tongued five-year-old Patty-Jo and her forbearing fashion-plate older sister, Ginger. In the first book devoted to Ormes, Goldstein not only recounts with enthusiasm the trailblazing cartoonist’s remarkable story from her birth in Pittsburgh to her celebrity-filled life in Chicago but also keenly analyzes Ormes’ influential cartoons and the role black newspapers played in the struggle for racial equality. With a generous selection of Ormes’ “forward-looking” cartoons resurrected for the first time, this is one exciting and significant book. Viva Jackie Ormes. --Donna Seaman

Review

"In the first book devoted to Ormes, Goldstein not only recounts with enthusiasm the trailblazing cartoonist's remarkable story . . . but also keenly analyzes Ormes's influential cartoons and the role black newspapers played in the struggle for racial equality. With a generous selection of Ormes's forward-looking cartoons resurrected for the first time, this is one exciting and significant book. Viva Jackie Ormes."
---Booklist



"I am so delighted to see an entire book about the great Jackie Ormes! This is a book that will appeal to multiple audiences: comics scholars, feminists, African Americans, and doll collectors."
---Trina Robbins, author of A Century of Women Cartoonists and The Great Women Cartoonists

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; 1st edition (February 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047211624X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472116249
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story of Jackie Ormes is unique that she was female cartoonist at
time when that field was solely male. Secondly Jackie Ormes was an
African American in a field predominately white. With two strikes
against her, what does Ms. Ormes do but hit a home run. She was a
timely and politically correct artist who kept herself and her work
contemporary and relevant with her African American community at a
time when they were neglected in the mainstream white papers. Jackie's
work was artistically well done with dialogue and a story line to keep
her readership ready to read the next issue.

The research done by the author Nancy Goldstein was thorough and
the writing keeps the reader's interest focused without losing a beat
page after page.

I wish that someone would publish her columns in a single volume
so that today's readers could get a feel for this talented artist
who needs to be recognized for her consistent and her ground breaking
work that would allow other female artists to follow in her foot-
steps. I highly recommend this scholarly book to anyone interested
in the field of writing, cartoon artwork, and in African American
history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a welcome addition to Black History literature, especially during Black History month. For those who espouse getting rid of this annual celebration, the Jackie Ormes book is testimony to the continued need to learn more about blacks from the past whose lives would be forgotten without diligent authors and researchers determined not to let black talents disappear. The Ormes biography is well written, fully illustrated, and inclusive of historical data about Ormes's family and the geographic areas where she and her family lived. Readers also learn about the effects of politics on the entertainment and journalism industries of the Ormes eras. It is a certainty that many readers old enough to remember E. Simms Campbell and the "Jess Be Simple" columns had never heard of Jackie Ormes. It would be a disgrace to have gone through life not knowing about such a charismatic and talented artist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nancy Goldstein has struck gold with this biography of Jackie Ormes. Ormes is a Black cartoonist who drew cartoons for Black newspapers during the 1940's and 50's. She also made a foray into early Black doll production.
Goldstein writes about the tribulations of Ormes and her contemporaries making satire during a time of repression, belittlement, bigotry, and official investigations. Through it all, she shows that Ormes continued to raise the consciousness of African-Americans despite their hardships.
This book is a must-read for any students of Black history.
Larry Bush
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Format: Hardcover
I received Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist by Nancy Goldstein as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. It took several weeks to get the book, so I decided it must have gotten lost. When it finally arrived in the mail, the book was warped and seemed to have been wet. I was a little disappointed. The accompanying letter was soiled too, so it must have happened in the mail.

The cover was attractive so I looked forward to jumping into the reading experience. Although the book was well-researched, it lacked many of the primary source documents I would expect from a book focused on a cartoonist's life. She describes cartoons rather than showing them. She talks about locations in Chicago rather than showing a map or photos of a particular location. She talks about many of the African American newspapers, but never shows a sample cover or page.

Ormes' work reflects the political and cultural atmosphere of the times (1937-1956) including environmental issues, the Cold War, women's roles, and racial segregation. As an African American woman, Jackie Ormes was able to speak directly to these issues through characters like Torchy Brown and Patty-Jo. In the Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger section of the book, the author did an excellent job of providing narrative to describe the background and political climate associated with each cartoon. However I was disappointed that the first section of the biography contained very few of Ormes' cartoons. Instead, selected cartoons were presented within chapters associated with specific characters. Because so many of Orme's cartoons reflect the particular era, it would have made sense to integrate them into the story of her life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had never even heard of her, my father and I used to read the comics daily, so finding this hidden jewel was an amazing discovery. It was a wonderful way to look back in time and see the foresight of Ms. Ormes . Love it !
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jackie Ormes was a fascinating woman. I found this book to be interesting, fun, and well-done. The author uses a great deal of Jackie's artwork throughout the book. Readers also get a very detailed biography about the woman who is known as the first African American woman cartoonist. I think readers will enjoy this item.
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