cartoonist elizabeth montague makes history at the ‘new yorker’

March 16, 2020
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It’s 2020 and we’re still doing firsts, y’all.

And as unacceptable as that is, people like Elizabeth Montague continue to break down barriers in industries and positions across the board. In Elizabeth’s case, she is a living example for Black girls and young women everywhere that they, too, can pursue the field of their choice. At just 25 years old, Montague is the first Black woman to have her illustrations featured in the New Yorker magazine.

“Unfortunately, the standard for people of color is that we don’t get to tell our own stories,” she says in an interview with the Washington Post. “I don’t take that for granted. I don’t take that lightly.”

The daughter of an architect and an executive, Montague hadn’t considered pursuing art professionally until her sophomore year at the University of Richmond, which she attended on a track scholarship. She tried out several majors, from computer science to anthropology and English. It wasn’t until she heard graphic designer Bojan Hadzihalilovic speak about how art could be used to “communicate this very complex stuff in a very accessible way” that she would decide to make art her career.