The Great Migration: An American Story

by Jacob Lawrence and Walter Dean Myers

According to Lawrence, his sequence of paintings, begun in 1940 when he was 22 years... read more

According to Lawrence, his sequence of paintings, begun in 1940 when he was 22 years old, involves the "exodus of African-Americans who left their homes and farms in the South around the time of World War I and traveled to northern industrial cities in search of better lives." This book reproducing the entire series in full color was published on the occasion of the 1993 exhibition "Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series." Images of dignity and hope are mingled with those of hard work and harsh experience created in what became panels containing an epic sweep of a people on the move. Lawrence's introduction and brief narrative accompanying the paintings offer insights into this aspect of U.S. history and his immediate family's migration experience. The closing page of this significant book contains a poem by Walter Dean Myers in which tribute is paid to the theme of the paintings and to the people. (Ages 9 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1993

show less