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Rogers last staff African American editorial cartoonist

Rob Tornoe, who broke the news that Ron Rogers had lost his job as the full-time South Bend Tribune editorial carrtoonist, writes that Ron was the only African American staff editorial cartoonist

Rogers will also leave behind the mantle of being the only African American staff newspaper cartoonist in the country, a distinction he sought since he was young.

“I wanted to be the first black editorial cartoonist on the country since I was 14,” Rogers said. “I just hope my departure doesn’t discourage somebody else who might want to do this.”

He had given up on the dream until the Tribune offered him a position to join their staff. Rogers began freelancing for the Tribune in 2002, joining the staff as a cartoonist in August 2005. He has received two statewide awards in Indiana for his work, and recently received national recognition for cartooning from the Suburban Newspapers of America.

I think it’s probably obvious Ron wasn’t the first African American editorial cartoonist. Other African Americans include: Tim Jackson, David G. Brown, Barbara Brandon-Croft and Brumsic Brandon.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Peterson
@ 7:42 pm

Once upon a time, there was a man named Ollie Harrington …

#2 Bob Andelman
@ 11:24 am

Ron Rogers was one of fuve African-American editorial cartoonists to participate in a roundtable discussion on Mr. Media Radio in March 2009. You can listen to the conersation here:

#3 Joel Bader
@ 1:03 pm

That begs some questions–how many African-American cartoonists work for a website devoted to news/editorial comment, given the rise of websites? Also, how many female cartoonists work for newspapers as well as for such websites–and Asian-American cartoonists? What about other minorities and ethnic groups? (If my message sounds politically incorrect, please change or remove it.)

#4 Dave Stephens
@ 8:13 pm

I wouldn’t know the skin color and/or ethnicity of most of the political and regular cartoonists I follow except for the internet making available color photos of most of ’em. It’s an interesting tidbit, but the only thing that really matters is whether or not I like their work…

Still, folks of any color should realize that cartooning is a viable option for them, though the odds against them truly making a living from cartooning are the same for all humans, i.e., not very darn likely…

#5 Keith Greene
@ 3:38 pm

When newspapers diminish their uniqueness, they are, in my opinion, hastening their tumble towards the cliff.

Newspapers need to embrace their unique, shining stars to protect and build their local franchise and their business.

Ron Rogers was a bright star for the South Bend Tribune.

Rather than kicking him to the curb as a perceived budget-cut necessity, Ron probably should have been given a raise to keep him from being lured to a bigger market, for which he is highly qualified; or, corporate management could have assigned Ron to the role of house cartoonist for all of the SCI, Inc. newspaper properties.

If I was still in management there, I would have fought to keep Ron.

He is, indeed, a unique talent.

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