This was a wonderful piece of history that I did not know existed.great read!!!!!!!!!!!
Originally posted on Black America Web:
At 89 years-old, Morrie Turner, who is first nationally syndicated African American cartoonist, is still making cartoons for the children of Sacramento. Turner sketched the first black comic strip called Wee Pals, which hit the newspapers of Chicago in 1965. Turner described his first comic strips as challenging – the papers were very strict on what he could and could not include in the illustration. Only five major newspapers published the strip. It wasn’t until the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that the comic strip was picked up and syndicated in over 100 newspapers nationwide.
Turner was born in Oakland, California. His father, who worked as a pullman porter, instilled him with the value of perseverance. Turner is a World War II veteran and drew comic strips for his fellow soldiers in the military. Turner was among cartoonists asked by the National Cartoonist Society to go to Vietnam and draw comics for the wounded soldiers in the hospital. He served on the front lines and drew over 3,000 cartoons in only 27 days of service.
Turner was inspired by Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoon. Schultz encouraged him to go after the Wee Pals strip. It became the first cartoon with a diverse cast in the United States.