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Holding Her Own

The Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes



Orchard Books


(pub.1.3.2023) 48 pages

Author: Traci N. Todd

Illustrator: Shannon Wright

Character: Jackie Ormes


" Jackie Ormes made history. She was the first Black woman cartoonist to be nationally syndicated in the United States. She was also a journalist, fashionista, philanthropist, and activist, and she used her incredible talent and artistry to bring joy and hope to people everywhere. But in post-World War II America, Black people were still being denied their civil rights, and Jackie found herself in a dilemma: How could her art stay true to her signature 'Jackie joy' while remaining honest about the inequalities Black people had been fighting?"

Tantalizing taste:

" There is music in these panels, and not just from the characters who sing onstage. It's in the rhythm of Jackie's line, and in the quiet, mighty ways her characters confront prejudice and fear."

And something more: Shannon Wright, in A Note from the Artist writes: "The beauty this story brings is to be celebrated because, while it does come with its fair share of heartaches and obstacles, so much joy and happiness sprang from Jackie's hands and touched people's lives in her day, and that joy can still be felt now… As an artist, I celebrate a woman who opened a door for me that might not have otherwise existed - a door that I plan to keep open as the next generation makes their way through it."


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