The emergence of Torchy Brown marked the first appearance of an independent African-American woman in a nationally syndicated comic strip. Torchy's self-reliance drove her to leave her Mississippi home at an early age and pursue her dreams of performing on stage, ultimately becoming a staple act at Harlem's Cotton Club. Torchy Brown's creator, Jackie Ormes, is widely-regarded as the first Black Female cartoonist and is also the creator of 'Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger'.
Torchy Brown was made into a popular paper doll in 1947. In keeping with Torchy Brown's forward-thinking themes, the character often tackled hot-button issues like racism, pollution, and social injustic in a comedic and approachable way. Because Torchy's syndication was largely limited to papers with circulation extended only to Black constituents, the character has only recently gained long overdue widespread attention.