artist, was born in Colquitt County, Georgia, son of John Henry Adams, a former slave and preacher in the Methodist Church, and Mittie Rouse. Many questions surround Adams's early life. While he reported in an Atlanta Constitution article (23 June 1902) that he came from a humble background, his father served parishes throughout Georgia. According to the History of the American Negro and His Institutions (1917), Adams Sr. was a man of accomplishment, leading black Georgians in a colony in Liberia for two years and receiving two honorary doctorates, from Bethany College and Morris Brown University. Educated in Atlanta schools, Adams claimed in the Atlanta Constitution article to have traveled to Philadelphia in the late 1890s to take art classes at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry (later Drexel University). Drexel, established in 1891 opened its doors to a diverse student ...
Vincent F. A. Golphin
artist and creator of Luther, one of the first comic strips with African American characters to be widely published in U.S. newspapers, was born in Washington, D.C., two blocks north of Union Station, then the national capital's major transportation center. Brumsic Brandon Sr. worked there as a railway porter. Brandon Jr.'s mother, the former Pearl Brooks, was a stock clerk and maid at the Kann's Department Store.
At Charles Young Platoon Elementary School, Brandon was a high achiever who loved to draw, which inspired him to pursue art as a career. In 1942, when he entered Armstrong Technical High School, he took nearly every painting, sketching, and sculpture course. Also, at the urging of teachers, he added courses in drafting, which later made him more employable. Brandon graduated in February 1945 intent on becoming a comic strip artist but instead he became one of the first African ...
Pamela Lee Gray
cartoonist, author, artist, and graphic illustrator, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Elmer Cary Campbell, a high school administrator, and Elizabeth Simms, a painter and homemaker. Campbell moved to Chicago to live with an aunt and to take advanced art classes at Elmwood High School. In 1923, while a student there, he won a national contest for an editorial cartoon about Armistice Day. After graduation, Campbell attended the Lewis Institute and the University of Chicago, where he worked at The Phoenix a humor magazine He also worked as a post office messenger and railroad car waiter Campbell was accepted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed three years of study there before returning to St Louis to work briefly at Triad Studios a commercial art studio He then moved to Harlem to live with an aunt and attend the Art Students League where ...
Christine G. McKay
cartoonist, was born Oliver Wendell Harrington in New York City, the son of Herbert Harrington, a porter, and Euzenie Turat. His father came to New York from North Carolina in the early 1900s when many African Americans were seeking greater opportunities in the North. His mother had immigrated to America, arriving from Austria-Hungary in 1907, to join her half sister. Ollie Harrington grew up in a multiethnic neighborhood in the South Bronx and attended public schools. He recalled a home life burdened by the stresses of his parents' interracial marriage and the financial struggles of raising five children. From an early age, he drew cartoons to ease those tensions.
In 1927 Harrington enrolled at Textile High School in Manhattan He was voted best artist in his class and started a club whose members studied popular newspaper cartoonists Exposure to the work of Art Young Denys ...
Thomas M. Inge
cartoonist, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of George Herriman Jr., a tailor, and Clara Morel. There is uncertainty about Herriman's ethnic background. His birth certificate identified him as “Colored,” his parents were listed in the 1880 New Orleans federal census as “Mulatto,” but his death certificate noted that he was “Caucasian.” During his lifetime, friends often thought he was Greek or French because of his Adonis-like appearance, and he has been called a “Creole.” The family moved to Los Angeles when Herriman was a child, and his father opened a barbershop and then a bakery.
Herriman attended St. Vincent's College, a Roman Catholic secondary school for boys. When he finished school in 1897 he followed his artistic bent and began to contribute illustrations to the Los Angeles Herald After the turn of the century he moved to New York City and began to ...
Timothy L. Jackson
cartoonist and illustrator, was born Jay Paul Jackson in Oberlin, Ohio. He was the fourth child and only son of Nellie Curry and Franklin R. Jackson. Jay Jackson tried his hand at a variety of trades before discovering his aptitude for cartooning. At the age of thirteen he joined the workforce, pounding railway spikes for a railroad company located just outside of Columbus, Ohio. He then worked as a steelworker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and had a brief career as a boxer while Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, from 1925 to 1926. During his time at Wesleyan, an instructor redirected his interests toward the field of advertising.
At the age of nineteen, Jackson wed his first wife, Adeline C. Smith (?–1924 and started a successful sign painting business However this success cost him his health Jackson suffered a severe case of lead poisoning caused by ...
Timothy L. Jackson
editorial cartoonist and illustrator, was born Ahmed Samuel Milai in Washington, D.C.
During the 1930s Milai served as illustrator of Joel Augustus Rogers's black history comic titled Your History. Rogers's comic brouge4820ht readers of the black press information about the remarkable achievements of individuals throughout the African diaspora, which was conspicuously absent from elementary school history books across America. The fully illustrated Your History comic was presented in a style similar to that of the popular Ripley's Believe it or Not! feature. Although Milai worked in association with the Pittsburgh Courier, Your History also appeared in a number of other black press publications nationally.
On 31 July 1937 the Pittsburgh Courier debuted Milai's comic domestic family strip titled Bucky This weekly comic strip centered on an adolescent boy and his interaction with his parents schoolmates and the obligatory assortment of tough guys and bullies Over the ...
Alfred L. Brophy
cartoonist, was born in Blevins, Arkansas, the first daughter of Julia Miller, a homemaker, and Lemuel Dixon, a preacher. A few years later, her parents separated and Julia Miller moved to St. Louis. After living for a short time with her maternal grandmother, Daisy was sent to live with her grandmother's sister-in-law, Josephine Hurst and her husband, Peter, in Little Rock, Arkansas. When she was nineteen years old, Daisy met Jack Scott, a former middleweight boxer, and they were married on 2 May 1917. The couple moved from Little Rock to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they lived in Greenwood, the city's African American section. The 1920 census listed Daisy as a cartoonist and her husband as a janitor. They had twelve children: Judith, Juanita, Julius, Eloise, Panchita, Sidney, Pauline, Guy, Altamese, Jonetta, Benjamin, and Toussaint.
Scott worked as a cartoonist for ...