This month, the Newseum opened “The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editorial Cartoons of Darrin Bell.” Each year, the Newseum updates its editorial cartoon rail to celebrate the accomplishments of the most recent Pulitzer Prize winner. This installation showcases the work of freelancer Darrin Bell, 2019 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.
In 1995, Bell started his career as staff editorial cartoonist at the University of California-Berkeley’s The Daily Californian. His editorial cartoons have also been published in the Los Angeles Times as well as the San Francisco Chronicle. Bell is the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.
He is also well known as a comic strip creator. Bell draws the “Rudy Park” and “Candorville” comic strips in addition to producing editorial cartoons.
Spurred by the trial of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Bell resumed his editorial cartoon career, creating powerful cartoons that emphasized his sharp and unique take on political hypocrisy, race and injustice.
“Political cartoonists are on the front lines of today’s culture wars and some have lost their jobs for the opinions they reflect,” said Patty Rhule, vice president of content and exhibit development at the Newseum. “Darrin Bell’s cartoons make powerful statements about race and injustice that vividly demonstrate the First Amendment’s right to free speech and expression.”
With more and more editorial cartoonists under attack and losing their jobs, Bell’s work remains more important than ever. We display his cartoons to emphasize the significant role the five freedoms of the First Amendment have in providing a resounding voice for change.