Ebony is a cartoonist and an ethnographer. She was born and raised in Maryland. Ebony holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic. Her expertise is in qualitative research and evaluation, picture-based methods, curriculum studies, and S.T.E.A.M. education.
Her graphic debut, Hot Comb, was published by Drawn and
Quarterly (2019) and received the 2019 Believer Book Award for Fiction. Ebony also received the 2020 Eisner Award for Best Short Story. She is the first Black woman to win this prize. She lives in Denver, CO.
The Value of Support
"The value of support for me as a woman writer means that I have the time to be more experimental. I am traversing an important juncture in my literary career. I have been recognized for publishing comics as academic research. I have also, and more recently, been recognized for my efforts authoring fiction and creative nonfiction comics. The Rona Jaffe Writer's Award and other forms of support have recognized that my decision to blend multiple comics-making practice, to blur the literal and figurative line between academic, fiction, and creative nonfiction comics, has been a viable and meaningful professional decision. The support has impacted my life by validating this risky choice of blending together the worlds of scholarly and literary publishing. It illustrates the value of my hybrid practice; that research methods can usefully inform multimodal narrative storytelling and, conversely, that the embodied intimacy of my fiction and creative nonfiction comics generates new ways of knowing. I'm grateful to organizations such as the Rona Jaffe Foundation for supporting my practice and helping to broaden how comics are appreciated as a literary genre."