Morrie Turner, Creator of Nationally-syndicated “Wee Pals” Comic Strip, Salutes “Super Sistahs” in Latest Book

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A historical illustrated look at the accomplishments of "SuperÂ? African American women -- from Harriett Tubman to Condoleezza Rice; from Hattie McDaniel to Halle Berry; from Phyllis Wheatley to Dorothy Height.

More than 40 years ago, talented Oakland, CA native Morrie Turner created the all-black comic strip "Dinky Fellows." In 1965 Turner integrated the cast, renamed the cartoon "Wee Pals," and syndicated it to become the nation's first integrated strip. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April 1968, Turner's comic strip "Wee Pals" was in only five major newspapers. Three months after Dr. King's death, the strip appeared in more than 100 newspapers nationwide. More than 25 million readers worldwide now enjoy the popular "Wee Pals" comic strip. Also the author of dozens of books and the creator of popular animated television series "Kid Power," Turner recently published his latest book titled "Super Sistahs" (BYE Publishing, paperback, 105 pp., $14.95 US, ISBN 09656739-5-2).

"Super Sistahs" brings to its readers the fascinating stories of more than 75 African American women of historical importance. Turner shares mini-cartoon-illustrated biographies of contemporary African American women and some who came long before us. He reminds readers about a host of extraordinary models of womanhood, and introduces us to others.

Throughout Black History Month, Mr. Turner will appear in Sacramento and several locations in the San Francisco Bay Area to promote Super Sistahs. The Charles M. Schulz Museum (named for, and co-founded by “Peanuts” cartoon creator Charles Schultz) will honor Turner on Saturday, February 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum will host a FREE Community Day at its Santa Rosa, CA location to celebrate Black History Month and the fortieth anniversary of Turner's comic strip “Wee Pals.”

Teaching Tool:

"Super Sistahs" is a teacher’s dream comes true. It provides teachers with the unique opportunity to incorporate this invaluable book into their curriculums to teach all students about the accomplishments of African American women.

"Super Sistahs" is a quick read for adults and a must-read for every child of reading age. In addition to the informative cartoon-illustrated biographies, Turner includes interesting trivia quizzes and challenging puzzles that are appropriate for all ages.

Every student should have the opportunity to read about women who overcame the legacy of slavery to achieve greatness in this society.

About the Author:

Morrie Turner was born December 11, 1923 in Oakland, CA, the youngest of four sons to George and Nora Turner. He lived in West Oakland during the "Great Depression."

Turner served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. During wartime, he drew a comic series "Rail Head," based on his own war experiences for Stars and Stripes. Turner married his lifetime sweetheart Letha, who gave birth to their son Morris. He worked as a clerk for the Oakland Police Department while doing freelance cartoons for magazines and trade publications, including Black World and Ebony magazine.

Several years later, his meeting with Charles Schultz, creator of the popular "Peanuts" cartoon, had a major influence in Turner's creation of all-black comic strip "Dinky Fellows," which was sold to the Chicago Defender. In February 1965 Turner contracted with The Lew Little Syndicate; integrated the cast; and renamed the cartoon "Wee Pals," thus becoming the nation's first truly integrated strip.

Turner is also known to have created the phrase "rainbow power," which means the power of all colors working together. He has written several children's books including The Illustrated Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turner is the recipient of the Anti-defamation League's Humanitarian Award, the Boy's and Girl's Club Image Award, the B'nai Brith Humanitarian Award, the California Educator's Award, the Sparky Award presented by the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the National Cartoon Society. He is also the subject of a documentary titled "Keep the Faith with Morrie."

In 1970, Turner served has vice-chairman of the forum of media for the White House Conference on Children. Fred Rogers (of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood) was chairman.

  • Mr. Turner is available for telephone and in-person interviews.
  • Press kit w/review copy will be mailed to media and book reviewers upon request.

"Super Sistahs" is available at most major bookstores (BYE Publishing, paperback, 105 pp., $14.95, ISBN 09656739-5-2)

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Malcolm Kelly
BYE Publishing Services
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