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Migration Panels

Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series comprises 60 individual panels illustrating key aspects of the Great African-American Migration, which was in full swing as he created the series in 1941. Half of Lawrence’s presentation of this critical story is available at MoMA in New York City and half is available at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC.

Each panel is beautiful and important in its own right, but we are very pleased that we are able to present, and make available, the entire collection here in one place.

The Migration Series, Panel no. 33: Letters from relatives in the North told of the better life there.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 34. The Negro press was also influential in urging the people to leave the South.

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 35: They left the South in great numbers. They arrived in the North in great numbers.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 36. They arrived in great numbers into Chicago, the gateway of the West.

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 37: Many migrants found work in the steel industry.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 38. They also worked in large numbers on the railroad.

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 39: Railroad platforms were piled high with luggage.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 40. The migrants arrived in great numbers.

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 41: The South was desperate to keep its cheap labor. Northern labor agents were jailed or forced to operate in secrecy.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 42. They also made it very difficult for migrants leaving the South. They often went to railroad stations and arrested the Negroes wholesale, which in turn made them miss their train.

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 43: In a few sections of the South leaders of both Black and White communities met to discuss ways of making the South a good place to live.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 44. Living conditions were better in the North..

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 45: The migrants arrived in Pittsburgh, one of the great industrial centers of the North.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 46. Industries attempted to board their labor in quarters that were oftentimes very unhealthy. Labor camps were numerous.

Jacob Lawrence

The Migration Series, Panel no. 47: As the migrant population grew, good housing became scarce.

Jacob Lawrence

Migration panel 48. Housing for the Negroes was a very difficult problem.

Jacob Lawrence