Minorities in cartoons: The NAACP and comics

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This week’s “minorities in cartoons” entry focuses on a few comics produced by the NAACP during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, similar to the Martin Luther King comic I wrote about before. No artist or writer information’s available, unfortunately.

The Street Where You Live

The first one is called “The Street Where You Live,” a 1960 comic about the need to encourage African-Americans to vote. The story’s set in an impoverished segregated neighborhood, and places importance on voting in order to bring candidates (and changes) responsive to the residents’ needs.

Your Future Rests in Your Hands

The second story, “Your Future Rests In Your Hands,” is a 1964 story that expands upon wider aspects of African-American life. These included discrimination in housing and employment, as well as difficulties in voting.

The comic touche on then-recent changes in voting and discrimination laws. The comic also reassures voters on the death of the poll tax. However, the comic mentions literacy tests and tests to “interpret the Constitution.” Black voters of the time were likely to face such when trying to vote.

The comics both resemble then-contemporary early Silver Age comics and newspaper comic strips in terms of the art and writing styles, albeit with African-American characters. Black characters were usually personas non grata in “mainstream” comics of this era.


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