Kickass Women in History: Jackie Ormes
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Articles / August 10, 2019

This month’s Kickass Women features Zelda Jackson (Jackie) Ormes, the first Black woman to be a professional cartoonist. Her cartoon strips discussed racism and sexism as well as fashion, dating, and family. Ormes was born in Pittsburgh in 1911. Her father died when she was six and she was raised by an aunt and uncle and, later, by her mother and stepfather. She launched her professional career as a sports reporter, proofreader and freelance news reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper. Jackie Ormes at Work Ormes’ first comic strip was Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem. In this strip, Torchy Brown, a fashionable Black woman from Mississippi heads to Harlem in hopes of becoming a singer. The strip covered fashion and men, but also racism, sexism, and the problems facing so many African-Americans who headed North during the time of the Great Migration. Torchy was independent, intelligent, and glamorous. The strip was published across the country in African-American papers from 1937 – 1938, and came back in 1950 as part of a trend of romance comics. Readers could enjoy the strip and “Torchy’s Togs,” a paper doll with a variety of outfits. Torchy’s Togs In 1945, Ormes launched Patty-Jo ‘n…

Whatcha Reading? August 2019 Edition, Part One
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Articles / August 10, 2019

We’re reading so many books this month and our discussion is full of good book noises! Shana: I just finished Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore ( A | BN | K | G | AB ), which I loved. Thank goodness for Claudia’s timely recommendation when I needed a book for a long flight. I was planning on reading Hollywood Homicide next ( A | BN | K | G | AB )—not the truly terrible Harrison Ford movie from 2003—this is a mystery about a Black crime-solving actress in L.A. But the library just gifted me with my hold on A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian ( A | BN | K | G | AB ). Now I have to drop everything and read that instead. A | BN | K | AB Sneezy: Thorn by Intisar Khanani! When you got a book dedicated to, “Every girl who as  doubted she has what it takes,” you KNOW you’re in for some Bossed-Up Badassery! I loved this book back when it first came out as an indie, and I can’t wait to see where it goes this time! Sarah: I am re-reading His at Night by…