Jacob Lawrence

Portrait

Jacob Lawrence was a U.S. Artist of the African Diaspora born on September 7, 1917. Lawrence contributed to the Harlem Renaissance movement and died on June 9, 2000. Get notified when Jacob Lawrence's biography is complete:

Migration Series No.1: During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans

1940-1941

Migration Series No.2: The war had caused a labor shortage in northern industry. Citizens of foreign countries were returning to their native lands

1940-1941

Migration Series No.3: From every southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north

1940-1941

Migration Series No.4: All other sources of labor having been exhausted, the migrants were the last resource

1940-1941

Migration Series No.5: Migrants were advanced passage on the railroads, paid for by northern industry. Northern industry was to be repaid by the migrants out of their future wages

1940-1941

Migration Series No.6: The trains were crowded with migrants

1940-1941

Migration Series No.7: The migrant, whose life had been rural and nurtured by the earth, was now moving to urban life dependent on industrial machinery

1940-1941

Migration Series No.8: Some left because of promises of work in the North. Others left because their farms had been devastated by floods

1940-1941

Migration Series No.9: They left because the boll weevil had ravaged the cotton crop

1940-1941

Migration Series No.10: They were very poor

1940-1941

Migration Series No.11: Food had doubled in price because of the war

1940-1941

Migration Series No.12: The railroad stations were at times so crowded with people leaving that special guards had to be called to keep order

1940-1941

Migration Series No.13: The crops were left to dry and rot. There was no one to tend them

1940-1941

Migration Series No.14: For African Americans there was no justice in the southern courts

1940-1941

Migration Series No.15: There were lynchings

1940-1941

Migration Series No.16: After a lynching the migration quickened

1940-1941

Migration Series No.17: Tenant farmers received harsh treatment at the hands of the planter

1940-1941

Migration Series No.18: The migration gained in momentum

1940-1941

Migration Series No.19: There had always been discrimination

1940-1941

Migration Series No.20: In many of the communities the Black press was read with great interest. It encouraged the movement

1940-1941

Migration Series No.21: Families arrived at the station very early. They did not wish to miss their trains north

1940-1941

Migration Series No.22: Migrants left. They did not feel safe. It was not wise to be found on the streets late at night. They were arrested on the slightest provocation

1940-1941

Migration Series No.23: The migration spread

1940-1941

Migration Series No.24: Their children were forced to work in the fields. They could not go to school

1940-1941

Migration Series No.25: They left their homes. Soon some communities were left almost empty

1940-1941

Migration Series No.26: And people all over the South continued to discuss this great movement

1940-1941

Migration Series No.27: Many men stayed behind until they could take their families north with them

1940-1941

Migration Series No.28: The labor agent sent south by northern industry was a familiar presence in the Black communities

1940-1941

Migration Series No.29: The labor agent recruited unsuspecting laborers as strike breakers for northern industries

1940-1941

Migration Series No.30: In every southern home people met to decide whether or not to go north

1940-1941

Migration Series No.31: The migrants found improved housing when they arrived north

1940-1941

Migration Series No.32: The railroad stations in the South were crowded with northbound travelers

1940-1941

Migration Series No.33: Letters from relatives in the North told of the better life there

1940-1941

Migration Series No.34: The Black press urged the people to leave the South

1940-1941

Migration Series No.35: They left the South in great numbers. They arrived in the North in great numbers

1940-1941

Migration Series No.36: Migrants arrived in Chicago, the gateway to the West

1940-1941

Migration Series No.37: Many migrants found work in the steel industry

1940-1941

Migration Series No.38: They also worked on the railroads

1940-1941

Migration Series No.39: Railroad platforms were piled high with luggage

1940-1941

Migration Series No.40: The migrants arrived in great numbers

1940-1941

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

1940-1941

Migration Series No.42: To make it difficult for the migrants to leave, they were arrested en masse. They often missed their trains

1940-1941

Migration Series 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

1940-1941

Migration Series No.44: But living conditions were better in the North

1940-1941

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

1940-1941

Migration Series No.46: Industries boarded their workers in unhealthy quarters. Labor camps were numerous

1940-1941

Migration Series No.47: As the migrant population grew, good housing became scarce. Workers were forced to live in overcrowded and dilapidated tenement houses

1940-1941

Migration Series No.48: Housing was a serious problem

1940-1941

Migration Series No.49: They found discrimination in the North. It was a different kind

1940-1941

Migration Series No.50: Race riots were numerous. White workers were hostile toward the migrant who had been hired to break strikes

1940-1941

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