Having 'The Talk' with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist Darrin Bell
Darrin Bell was 6 years old when his mother told him he couldn’t have a realistic water gun. She said she feared for his safety, that police tend to think of little Black boys as older and less innocent than they really are.
Join us in-person in downtown San Francisco for an in-depth talk with Bell about his experience—and the experience of millions of other parents and children in this country—which he has now told in his new graphic novel, The Talk. Through evocative illustrations and sharp humor, Bell examines how The Talk shaped intimate and public moments from childhood to adulthood. While coming of age in Los Angeles―and finding a voice through cartooning―Bell becomes painfully aware of being regarded as dangerous by white teachers, neighbors, and police officers and thus of his mortality. Drawing attention to the brutal murders of African Americans and showcasing revealing insights and cartoons along the way, he brings us up to the moment of reckoning when people took to the streets protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
And now Bell must decide whether he and his own six-year-old son are ready to have The Talk.
Darrin Bell received the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, the 2016 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning, the 2015 RFK Award for Editorial Cartooning, and UC Berkeley’s 2015 Daily Californian Alumni of the Year Award, began his career in 1995 at the age of 20. While serving as the Daily Californian’s staff cartoonist, he began freelancing for the Opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune. In 1997, he co-created the comic strip Rudy Park and self-syndicated it to technology magazines. United Media launched it into newspapers in 2001. In 2003, Darrin launched his other comic strip, Candorville, in newspapers via the Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG), which also began syndicating his editorial cartoons in 2013. While WPWG still syndicates Candorville and Rudy Park, Darrin moved his editorial cartoons to King Features Syndicate in late 2018. He’s also a contributing cartoonist for The New Yorker. Darrin lives with his wife and two children in California.
This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
See more Michelle Meow Show programs at The Commonwealth Club of California.
Bell photo by Makeda Rashidi.
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Cartoonist; Author, The Talk graphic novel; Creator, Candorville; Co-creator, Rudy Park
Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show," KBCW TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Co-host
Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club of California—Co-host