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Great Migration: Art and History

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African American History from the 1910s to 1940s

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Great Migration: Art and History

  1. 1. The Great Migration: art and history connections
  2. 2. The Black Belt • The Black Belt is a region of the Southern United States. • Because this area was developed for cotton plantations based on enslaved African-American labor. • agricultural region in the American South characterized by a history of plantation agriculture in the 19th century and a high percentage of African Americans outside metropolitan areas • they were enslaved before the Civil War and many continued to work in agriculture for decades afterward.
  3. 3. THE CENSUS OF 1850 YEAR GAVE “PITT COUNTY 13,397 POPULATION, DIVIDED AS FOLLOWS: WHITES, 6,677; SLAVES, 6,633; FREE NEGROES, 87.” SOURCE: SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY BY HENRY T. KING (1909)
  4. 4.  World War One 1914-1918  USA neutral until 1917  US economy benefits from munitions sales  Job opportunities in cities.
  5. 5.  In 1900, only 740,000 African Americans lived outside the South, just 8 percent of the nation's total black population.  By 1970, more than 10.6 million African Americans lived outside the South, 47 percent of the nation's total.
  6. 6. Factory jobs in northern cities
  7. 7. Other factors to the GREAT MIGRATION  1913 to 1915, falling cotton prices brought on an economic depression that seriously hurt southern farmers, both black and white.
  8. 8. Other factors to the GREAT MIGRATION An infestation of boll weevils destroyed much of the cotton crop between 1914 and 1917
  9. 9. Other factors to the GREAT MIGRATION  In the Mississippi Valley, severe floods in 1915 ruined crops and homes,  Blacks especially suffered because they lived in disproportionate numbers in the Mississippi Valley's bottomlands.
  10. 10. Pull Push GREAT MIGRATION $$ Job Opportunities Hope for better life and MAYBE an escape from racism Floods Boll weevils / Cotton Lack of Economic Opportunity Racism
  11. 11. The Harlem Renaissance  the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s.
  12. 12. Aaron Douglas  Moved to NYC in 1925  Settled in Harlem  He gained the attention of W. E. B. Du Bois who was calling for young African American artists to express their African heritage and African American folk culture in their art.  Called the "Father of African American arts."
  13. 13. Jacob Lawrence  1917-2000  Parents moved from the rural South to find a better life in the North.  He came to New York in 1930, at the age of thirteen, and quickly discovered art as a means of expression.  Lawrence’s education in art was both informal—observing the activity and rhythms of the streets of Harlem—and formal, in after-school community workshops at Utopia House and later at the Harlem Art Workshop.
  14. 14. Jacob Lawrence: Migration of the Negro (series)  In 1941, Jacob Lawrence, then just 23 years old, completed a series of 60 small tempera paintings with text captions about the Great Migration  The collection of paintings in this series are divided between two museums,  the even numbers going to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City ( MOMA )  the odd numbers to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
  15. 15. Assignment:  Locate and research a painting by Jacob Lawrence and/or Aaron Douglas  The Phillips Collection  Upload it to your thinglink account (www.thinglink.com)  Connect the image to history by “tagging” it with at least three informational tags that explain how the image reflects events American History.

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