1940s

African American and White Soldiers aboard A Ship

Gordon Parks, 1941

Autumn

Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, 1941

Children

William H. Johnson, 1941

Girl with a rose

Lê Phổ, 1941

Meeting Place

Norman Lewis, 1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

Migration Series No.10: They were very poor

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

Migration Series No.15: There were lynchings

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

Migration Series No.18: The migration gained in momentum

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

Migration Series No.19: There had always been discrimination

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

Migration Series No.23: The migration spread

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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

Jacob Lawrence, 1940-1941

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