Jackie Ormes was the first known and syndicated black woman cartoonist who brought black images and characters to the American funny papers. It was Ormes’ characters that would express the “power of black,” decades before it was openly addressed in mainstream society. Though carrying blatant messages, her characters were elegant and classy.
Born Zelda Mavin Jackson, Jackie Ormes was best known for her 1930’s comic strip, “Dixie to Harlem” starring the character Torchy Brown. Torchy was a sassy Mississippi teen who became a star at New York’s Cotton Club.