Alvin Carl Hollingsworth, Was Among the First Black Artists in Comic Books

Written by Jae Jones

Alvin Carl Hollingsworth was born on February 25, 1928. He was an African-American painter, and one of the first artists illustrating comic books. He was born in Harlem, and was the son of West Indian parents. Hollingsworth began drawing at the young age of 4, and by the age of 12-years-old he was already an art assistant on Holyoke Publishing’s Cat-Man Comics. Hollingsworth’s first confirmed comic book work is the signed, four-page war comics story “Robot Plane.”

In 1950, Hollingsworth worked on the “Negro Romance” comics. The “Negro Romance” was a romance comic book published in the 1950s by Fawcett Comics. The comic showed African-Americans who conformed to mainstream ideals of beauty in the 1950s, as opposed to seeing Black people in stereotypical roles. There were only three issues of “Negro Romance” published. By 1953, Hollingsworth was creating his own comic strip that was nationally syndicated by the Associated Press in one-hundred forty newspapers. Some of his comic strips included the 1955 Kandy from the Smith-Mann Syndicate, as well as Scorchy Smith. By, the 1960s, he was teaching illustration at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan.

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He later gave up his career in comics to be a Fine Arts painter. He taught art as a professor at Hostos Community College in New York. His subjects as a painter included social issues of civil rights women, and African-Americans. One of Hollingsworth well-known pieces was an African Jesus Christ. In 1963, he began his work in the Civil Rights Movement by forming the group Spiral. Hollingsworth later directed an art program to teach young children commercial and fine art at the Harlem Parents Committee Freedom School. Hollingsworth died July 14, 2000 at the age of 72.



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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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