When the 14-year-old African American boy Emmett Till was lynched in 1955, one cartoonist responded in a single-panel comic. It showed one black girl telling another: "I don't want to seem touchy on the subject… but that new little white tea-kettle just whistled at me!"
It may not seem radical today, but penning such a political cartoon was a bold and brave statement for its time — especially for the artist who was behind it. This cartoon was drawn by Jackie Ormes, the first syndicated African American woman cartoonist to be published in a newspaper. She was known for working between the 1930s and the 1950s for black newspapers like The Pittsburgh Courier and The Chicago Defender (Barbara Brandon-Croft was the first African American woman cartoonist published in the mainstream American press). Ormes was ahead of her time, as she regularly responded to issues that concerned the black community through her art. Despite all her efforts, though, she has only recently garnered some noteworthy accolades.