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Jacob Lawrence
One-Way Ticket:
The migration series


To what extent does Jacob Lawrence's painting n°57 embody Black women's history in the United states during the 20th century?

I – Formal description
A) The work in itself: colors, forms, and themes
B) Place in the overall work

II – Painting at the service of history
A) The Great Migration
B) An account for Black women’s conditions

III – Art and remembrance
A) Reception of Lawrence's work
B) Art as a symbol of remembrance

Alfredo Valente, Jacob Lawrence, 1957. Alfredo Valente papers, 1941-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.



Jacob Lawrence

A series to me is a connected narrative.

The female worker was also one of the last groups to leave the South.

1993 caption

The female workers were the last to arrive north.

1941 Caption


II - Painting at the service of history

Black Family Arrives in Chicago from the South, ca. 1919
Public Domain Image, Courtesy New York Public Library (1168439)

Robert McNeill. Make a Wish, from the series The Bronx Slave Market. 1937, the Museum of Modern Art

III – Art and remembrance

Panel n°58
Caption from 1993: "In the North the African American had more educational opportunities."

Panel n°50
Caption from 1993: "Race riots were numerous. White workers were hostile toward the migrant who had been hired to break strikes."


Nicholas Lemann, The Promised Land, 1995

Jutta Lorensen, Between Image and Word, Color and Time: Jacob Lawrence's "The Migration Series", African American Review, Fall 2006, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 571-586 (16 pages), published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of African American Review (St. Louis University)

Xavier Nicholas, Callaloo, Vol. 36, Spring, 2013, No. 2, pp. 260-267 (8 pages), published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Turner, Elizabeth Hutton, ed. 1993, Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Washington, DC: Rappahannock P

One-Way Ticket, Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, Museum of Modern art (last consulted on February 27, 2022):

The Great Migration (1915-1960), Stephanie Christensen, December 6, 2007 (last consulted on February 27, 2022):