Migration panel 8. They did not always leave because they were promised work in the North. Many of them left because of Southern conditions, one of them being great floods that ruined the crops, and therefore they were unable to make a living where they were.

During the first decades of the 20th century, a series of floods destroyed several major agricultural regions in the in the South, particularly, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1929: the most destructive in American history. The spring, the Mississippi River and its tributaries started to break through levees ranging from Illinois to Louisiana, causing an estimated 27,000 miles of land to flood. Farms and town were essentially unlivable, resulting in around one million residents displaced and homeless; the majority being African American. Lawrence evokes these events, additionally paying homage to biblical proportions. The tragic effects of these disasters are countered by the cool, serene choice of different shades of blue as the dominant color. The sky is separated from the flood waters with a thin strip of land meant to portray the shrunken bank of the river. A small portion of plant life is visible above the water, displaying that despite the empty, barren land that has drowned underneath, life is still present.
SKU: 65194
Creator: Jacob Lawrence
Date: 1940-41
Original Medium: Tempera on gesso on composition board
Original Size: 18 x 12 in
Location: Museum of Modern Art, NY
© 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Paper SizePortrait / LandscapeUnframedFramed
Petite8x10 / 10x8$16$99
Small11x14 / 14x11$24$159
Medium16x20 / 20x16$45$219
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Extra Large32x40 / 40x32$139$449