Real World History & The Second Wave of the Great Migration

MARCH 6 – JUNE 2, 2021

The Great Migration was the mass movement of over 5 million African Americans from the rural South to urban centers in the North and West. Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series explores the first wave (1916-1940); this exhibition explores the second wave (1940-1970). The Phillips Collection collaborated with high school students in Center for Inspired Teaching’s Real World History class for this project. Using Lawrence’s work as a springboard for conversations about the legacy of the Great Migration and the universal theme of struggle in the world today, the students conducted oral histories of individuals who moved from the South to Washington, DC, prior to 1970. Their stories reveal the courage, faith, hope, and determination of those uprooting themselves in search of a better life.