By Ashley Moss
A brand-new Google Doodle, celebrating Black artist Jackie Ormes, debuted on September 1, courtesy of Philadelphia-based artist Liz Montague. A Google Doodle is a special but temporary change of the logo on Google’s homepages and usually coincides with holidays, events, achievements, and notable historical figures.
Born Zelda Mavin Jackson on Aug. 1, 1911, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ormes taught herself to draw at an early age. After graduation, she entered the media landscape as a proofreader and freelance reporter for the nationally-circulated Black newspaper the Pittsburgh Courier.
She is widely recognized as the first and only Black female newspaper cartoonist of her time in the United States. Ormes retired in 1956 and in recognition of her achievements, Ormes was posthumously inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame in 2014 as well as the Will Eisner Comic Industry Hall of Fame in 2018.
Ormes was known for her cartoons and comic strips that challenged the derogatory stereotypes of Black female characters prevalent in the media. Her characters faced real-life issues like romantic heartbreak, environmental justice, and gender inequality, which were similar to the issues Ormes faced in her own life. Her characters were all independent women—confident, intelligent, attractive, and brave, who persevered against adversity to reach their next adventure.