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Jacob Lawrence. In the North the Negro had better educational facilities. 1940-41 11

Casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm). Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. © 2024 Jacob Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Educator, Amber Hunnicutt: My name is Amber Hunnicutt, and I'm a museum educator. You are in front of works by the artist Jacob Lawrence from The Migration Series.

A migration story is the story of movement from one place to another. And The Great Migration was the mass movement of six million Black Americans from the farm-filled south to cities in the Northeast, Midwest, and Western United States.

At the time, in the South, many black folks were struggling to survive, not having enough food, not having a safe place to live, being harassed by police for no reason. The six million people of the Great Migration moved with the hope that they would find better and safer jobs, schools, and housing, and more freedom to live their lives as they pleased.

Different panels of this work evoke very different emotions from me. When you're looking at the panels that take place on trains and in train stations in particular, you get that sense of being one little person in a big crowd of people and how intense that can feel.

Some of the panels in this series also make me feel hopeful. I am very proud to be Black, and Jacob Lawrence tells such a powerful story through these paintings. It reminds me that no matter what we're up against, we can survive and thrive.

Can you think about a time when you or your family went through a big change? Have you ever moved from one place to another? What was that experience like for you?

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