The Migration Series Analysis

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During the Great Depression, millions of African Americans decided to travel into the unknown. They ventured North, where they sought better employment and living conditions, as well as an escape from Jim Crow laws and other forms of institutional racism. In his paintings depicting the Great Migration, Jacob Lawrence captures a feeling of hope and ambiguity as a family pulls into an urban landscape on a train. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt successfully passed the New Deal, which yielded countless projects that enriched American economy, as well as American lives. One such project was “The Migration Series”, which was painted by renowned artist, Jacob Lawrence.As one the enduring legacies of the New Deal, “The…show more content…
In a 1993 documentary about the making of “The Migration Series”, Lawrence describes growing up in a vibrant, energetic Harlem neighborhood, in which people encourages children to participate in the arts (Humanitieswdc). Like President Franklin Roosevelt members of the Harlem community believed that art could alleviate the negative effects of the Depression. Prior to the presentation of “The Migration Series”, the Great Migration received little public attention; therefore, this series was important in educating audiences about a significant movement in American history (New Yorker). “The Migration Series”, originally titled “The Migration of the Negro” series is composed of 60 small paintings and text captions that convey the Great Migration. Beginning around 1915 and spanning over nearly two decades, the Great Migration was a mass movement of African Americans from the agricultural American south to the North (footnote one-way). By the 1940s, when the series was created, the population of blacks in New York and Chicago had quadrupled from the population in 1910. Lawrence was accepted into the Federal Arts Project as an easel painted. “In 1941, the series was displayed in a show at several prestigious galleries in New York (New Yorker). A 1942 article from The Washington Post highlights the absence of the African-American narrative in American art by mentioning the unusual amount
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