STILL…Racism In America – A Retrospective in Cartoons

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May 21, 2022 - October 23, 2022
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Robinson Gallery, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High St.
Columbus OH 43210

Pioneering father/daughter cartoonists Brumsic Brandon, Jr. (1927– 2014) and Barbara Brandon-Croft (1958– ) chronicled the nation’s cultural landscape in their comic strips through the lens of racism. The elder Brandon, who created Luther in the late sixties, and was later syndicated by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate until 1986, was also known for his blistering editorial cartoons. Where I’m Coming From is the work of his youngest daughter, the nation’s first Black woman cartoonist in the mainstream press; it debuted in 1989 in the Detroit Free Press. Universal Press Syndicate later distributed her provocative feature until 2005. For six decades, their respective pens lay bare the truth: Nothing has changed. This retrospective reveals how vividly the specter of racism remains in America… STILL.  

This exhibition originated at Medialia Gallery in New York City. The Ohio State University’s installation will include original Luther cartoons from the Brumsic Brandon, Jr. Collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. STILL is curated by Tara Nakashima Donahue. 

Save the Date: Opening reception and program with Barbara Brandon-Croft and Tara Nakashima Donahue at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum onSaturday, May 21, 2022.

Reverse Discrimination

Brumsic Brandon, Jr., You-Phemisms: Reverse Discrimination, 1976, for Freedomways. © Brumsic Brandon, Jr., Art Trust. Used with permission.

Prolific cartoonist Brumsic Brandon, Jr. (1927–2014) said that his motivation to draw cartoons with social commentary sprang from his “experiences of being Black in a white racist society.” In the late sixties, he created the comic strip Luther, which was later nationally syndicated by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate until 1986. Before then, and for some time after, he also produced a breadth of searingly insightful editorial cartoons for the Black press and other publications. Drawing cartoons with impactful messages was Brandon’s vocation. He once wrote, “For better or for worse, I was committed.”



Barbara Brandon-Croft, #ObamaBacklash, Where I’m Coming From, 2016. © Barbara Brandon-Croft.

Image of cartoonist Barbara Brandon-CroftLike father, like daughter: Barbara Brandon-Croft (1958– ), his youngest, found that she, too, could satisfy her desire to expose America’s societal ills through her art. Where I’m Coming From is the work of Brandon-Croft, the nation’s first Black woman cartoonist to appear in the mainstream press. The comic strip debuted in 1989 in the Detroit Free Press and was later picked up by Universal Press Syndicate and distributed until 2005. Brandon-Croft continues to offer her brand of social commentary online; she says, “out of necessity.”