For Black History Month, I’ve decided to teach my students about Jacob Lawrence. He is one of my favorite artists and he’s Migration Series touches on a topic that I’ve noticed not a lot of school books talk about.
For those of you that don’t know, the Great Migration (1916-1970) was the relocation of 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the Urban North.
There was a call for industrial workers in the North because of World War I and many wanted to escape the Reconstruction of the Civil War in the South. Unfortunately, many migrants still dealt with violent racism and discrimination in the North.
Jacob Lawrence created a 60 panel series called The Migration Series (1940-41) that depicted what African Americans went through. For this month’s art project I’m having my students great mixed media paintings using construction paper and acrylic paint. In the style of Jacob Lawrence, they will be recreating pictures from the Civil Rights movement.
I taught to the first group on Friday and they all seemed to enjoy the process. My goal with this lesson is to actually to my students about an important moment in history that some people thing should down played. Not talking about things such as slavery, the civil war, rasicm and all the terrible things that happened does no good for anyone.
Do not forget these people. Do not edit or hide this part of history. We need to remember it so we don’t make the same mistakes and so we can learn from the ones we’ve made.