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James Hiram Malone

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Information about James Hiram Malone

Profile image of James Hiram Malone

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Cartoonist
Graphic Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Chicken)
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
3/24/1930
Birth Location:
Winterville, Georgia

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Cartoonist
Graphic Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Chicken)
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
3/24/1930
Birth Location:
Winterville
See how James Hiram Malone is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Versatile, prolific, retired graphic artist, cartoonist, writer and painter, James Hiram Malone is the founder and director of Laughing Trees, Inc., a non-profit, volunteer oriented organization operated out of his office, studio, and gallery/home in Atlanta, Georgia. Born on March 24, 1930 at the onset of the depression in Winterville, Georgia to Ralph and Sarah Lena Echols Malone, his father (Malone Sr.) in 1932, moved the family to Atlanta’s Buttermilk Bottom with hopes of attaining a better life for Malone and his older brother, Ralph, Jr. With encouragement from his mother and an elementary school teacher, Malone began to express himself visually at an early age. The earliest exhibition occurred during his junior year in high school. During his senior year, his paintings won him international recognition and a scholarship to attend Morehouse College where he majored in art.

Malone tried to attend “White” Atlanta’s High School of Art but was denied admission. Instead, he joined the U.S. Army, and his military career spanned over a nine-year period. Malone became the first person of color to hold the Fort Jackson post of Art Coordinator NCO and an instructor of the 3431 Army Services Unit Craft Shop. Later, he became the U.S. Army Chief Illustrator in the Special Services Division.

Malone left the military and demanded entrance again into Atlanta’s High School art program. Barred the second time, Atlanta’s High School offered him a voucher to attend an art school up north. At Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies Art and Design College, he earned his Associate of Arts degree. He worked for a variety of companies— always the first and only black in the art department. His employment ranged from a one room small agency’s one-man team to an over four acre K-Mart International Headquarters with a team of hundreds. Before leaving Michigan, for Atlanta, he spearheaded fundraising for the landmark African American History Museum; recorded the 1967 riots in paintings, cartoons and writings; created Michigan Chronicle Newspaper’s cartoon, “Brother,” and “I’m Dreaming of Colored Christmas” greeting cards.


Malone was hired by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as an advertising graphic artist, then promoted to senior graphic designer. He created the cartoon panel “Malone’s Atlanta”, and a literacy guide, (Say) “Simply Apply Yourself”. He organized employees’ Martin Luther King, Jr.’s parade celebration, and gave community students motivational lectures.

Among the books Malone has authored are Brother, No Job Dad and Grandma Sarah’s Closet. His publications include the Ralph Syndicated Comic Strip and the Living Longer Comic Strip. He has written lyrics for the songs, “Homeless Hope” and “Willie Lives in the Street” to bring attention to the plight of the homeless and “Talk to Your Child” to encourage parents’ participation in the lives of their children. His poetry is in the book Word Up. Two of his paintings Faith Moves Mountains and Down Yonder serve as a background for the movie Snow Dogs. His cartoons are published in numerous publications.

Malone is an avid community activist, lobbyist, volunteer for Hosea’s Feed the Hungry and Homeless Program and a columnist for the crusading newspaper, Street Beat. He is CEO of Grove Park Arts Alliance and Neighborhood Association; Board Member of Keep Atlanta Beautiful; past President of the International Black Writers Association; Local 22, Member of the Southern Poverty Law Center of Alabama and the RepoHistory Association; the Buttermilk Bottom Project; past chairman, The Atlanta Project Clusters, promoting local neighborhood’s self reliance.

Malone, The Eldest African American Living Native Son of Contemporary Visual Arts in Atlanta, in 2005, organized and curated, “Homecoming: 20th Century African American Masters Art Exhibition” at the City Gallery East, Atlanta, Georgia, featuring twenty-two artists, was sponsored by the Bureau of Cultural Affairs and Laughing Trees, Inc. An ongoing exhibition of Malone’s artwork is at Teaching Museum South, Hapeville, Georgia.

Malone was divorced and was the father of two sons, Andrew Ralph and Matthew Martin, who reside in Michigan. He passed away on April 9, 2011 in Atlanta.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Hiram Malone's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone describes his mother's personality and family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone describes his father's personality and family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone describes his grandparents' family backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Hiram Malone describes the Atlanta neighborhood of Buttermilk Bottom
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Hiram Malone describes Sanctified churches
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Hiram Malone remembers Buttermilk Bottom's juke joints and sense of community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Hiram Malone describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone recalls how the Ku Klux Klan assailed Buttermilk Bottom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone recalls the vendors that would visit his neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone describes the Buttermilk Bottom community and its fate
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone remembers Atlanta's David T. Howard Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone remembers lunch at David T. Howard Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone recalls the elementary schools he attended in Atlanta
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Hiram Malone recalls a fight in his later elementary school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Hiram Malone recalls moving out of Buttermilk Bottom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Hiram Malone remembers going to the movies as a child in Atlanta
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone recalls seeing movies at Atlanta's segregated theaters
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone describes University Homes in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone describes his early art exhibitions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone describes his extracurricular activities at Booker T. Washington High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone recalls his teenage experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone describes his decision to attend Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Hiram Malone describes Morehouse College in the late 1940s and 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Hiram Malone describes changes at Spelman College and Morehouse College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Hiram Malone recalls enlisting in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone explains his decision to leave Morehouse College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone describes his placement in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone recalls the desegregation of the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone describes the gallery he established at Fort Jackson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone explains the purpose of the art gallery at Fort Jackson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone recalls defying segregation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Hiram Malone describes his experience of racial discrimination at Fort Jackson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Hiram Malone reflects upon what he learned in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone describes his role as chief illustrator in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone recalls helping to solve a burglary case in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone recalls the military bases where he was stationed
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone recalls his success as an illustrator while serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone talks about his first collection of poetry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone remembers the deaths of his brother and mother
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Hiram Malone recalls deciding to attend the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Hiram Malone describes his role at Better Brochures and Catalogues, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Hiram Malone describes his work at Detroit's Federal Department Stores
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James Hiram Malone remembers the 1967 Detroit riots
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone describes his involvement in Detroit's art organizations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone recalls his graphic design career in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone describes his work in Atlanta and his book, 'No-Job Dad'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone describes his poetry and books
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone describes his activism in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone describes his activism in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Hiram Malone describes his work with The Atlanta Project
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Hiram Malone talks about his father's remarriage and death
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Hiram Malone describes his art and activism after retirement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone describes Laughing Tree, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone shares advice for young artists
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Hiram Malone describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Hiram Malone describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Hiram Malone reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Hiram Malone narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Hiram Malone narrates his photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Hiram Malone narrates his photographs, pt. 3