To me, migration means movement. There was conflict and struggle. But out of the struggle came a kind of power and even beauty. 'And the migrants kept coming.' is a refrain of triumph over adversity. If it rings true for you today, then it must still strike a chord in our American experience. — Jacob Lawrence
In Today's Workshop...
We discussed the idea of migration as it relates to a spiritual journey. We did this by looking at a painting by the artist Jacob Lawrence that was part of his Migration Series. The series tells the story of the mass migration of millions of African Americans from the southern United States to northern cities.
Explore the topic further with family and friends...
- Learn more about Jacob Lawrence and the Great Migration by visiting the Phillips Collections and Whitney Museum of American Art websites. Both of these are interactive websites.
- The Phillips Collections website has a section where people can share their stories of migration. Does your family have a story of migration? Did your family recently emigrate from another country? Do you have an ancestor that was part of the Great Migration? Or have you moved to a different region of the United States? Interview your family and post that story on the Phillips Collections website.
- Do you have a Facebook or MySpace profile, blog, website or other social networking account? If you do, post a link to either the Phillips Collections or Whitney Museum of American Art and ask your friends what they think of Jacob Lawrence's art. Ask them if they or their families have stories of migration. What do they think the connection is between migration and a spiritual journey?
- Do you have old journals or diaries? What about old artwork from your childhood? Read your oldest entries. Look at your oldest artwork. Reflect on the person you were when you wrote or drew this material versus the person you are now. Has there been movement or growth?
- Do you know a friend or family member who is working toward a goal that is deeply important to them? If you can do so sincerely, acknowledge the growth you have witnessed in them toward this goal. It is important for us to accompany and support each other on the journey.