James Thibodeaux, 1992
James Thibodeaux (1911 - 2004) was born in Louisiana, but moved with his family to Dallas around 1920. After excelling in art in high school, his father sent him to New York to study art. He graduated from the Mechanics Institute, Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in 1932, with a specialization in free-hand drawing. Thibodeaux remained in New York, experiencing the Harlem Renaissance, and living at the Harlem Branch YMCA, where he met prominent Black artists and intellectuals. He found a job at the WOR radio/television station, where he worked until retiring in 1977. In 1943, Thibodeaux was drafted to the US Army and served as the first Black artistic instructor in special services. After World War II, he pursued his art and theater career, exhibiting and performing in well-known galleries and theaters of the time, while also teaching art to young people. In 1980, Thibodeaux moved back to Dallas where he continued to create art until his death in 2004.
More information about James Thibodeaux can be found on the Texas State Historical Association Handbook of Texas.