The Political Cartoons of Clint C. Wilson, Sr.

Joellen El Bashir

     The Black press, since its earliest days, has used political cartoons to punctuate - through humor and satire - issues affecting African American life. The Black press today continues to offer African American cartoonists the opportunity to express their viewpoints on current issues and events. A political cartoonist has an eye for art, a head for satire, and a heart that yearns for change. Clint C. Wilson, Sr., who produced the cartoons below, is one such cartoonist. He sold his first cartoon in 1940, and has since produced more than 2,600. His work is syndicated in newspapers across the country.

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     Political cartoonists use humor and satire to express a particular point of view. What do you think is the point of view of the cartoonist as depicted in the cartoons below? [Cartoons are from the Clint C. Wilson, Sr., Papers in the Manuscript Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.]

     In the cartoon on the left, who is the "King" referred to in the caption? What is his significance to American history? Where do you think we as a people would be if King were still alive?

     In the cartoon on the right, who was Marcus Garvey? If he were still living, why would he be interested in President Clinton's visit to Africa? In the cartoon, Garvey seems pleased with the front page "story." Why?

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February 2000