One of the most acclaimed African-American artists for more than fifty years, Jacob Lawrence has created numerous painting series depicting black historical figures and themes. As a young man he studied art and read extensively on the subject of African American history, which he translated into visual narratives, the best known of which is The Migration Series.
"I've always been interested in history, but they never taught Negro history in the public schools...I don't see how a history of the United States can be written honestly without including the Negro. I didn't [paint] just as a historical thing, but because I believe these things tie up with the Negro today. We don't have a physical slavery, but an economic slavery. If these people, who were so much worse off than the people today, could conquer their slavery, we can certainly do the same thing....I am not a politician. I'm an artist, just trying to do my part to bring this thing about...."
Jacob Lawrence, 1940
Ellen Harkins Wheat, Jacob Lawrence: The Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman Series of 1938-40.
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