Lawrence valued his community and observed it closely; it
inspired his art.
Beginnings to see photographs of Harlem and Lawrences
depictions of the scenes he saw in his neighborhood.
the Harlem community in the first half of the 20th centuryits
size, population, economy, cultural and political life.
your community. (Individual students or groups could do this.)
Find out about its historyhow it developed, who founded
it, why it was established.
Compare your community in the past with the way it is now.
Describe its present character. What are the differences?
(Different people, ages, occupations, buildings, transportation,
residents who have lived in your community for a long time.
How do they view the neighborhood? What do they think about
the community now? How has it changed? Has change made the
neighborhood better or worse? Why? Each student could write
a report on the interview, for class discussion. What is regarded
as good change? Bad change? Why?
the Great Migration. When did it occur? Create a list of reasons
why African-Americans left the South and migrated North. (See
Jacob Lawrence, The
Migration Series, Panel 3)
were the major northern cities to which African-Americans
migrated? Find them on a map of the United States.
and your family always lived in your present city? Where did
your family come from? Why did they move?
out about the origins of others in you class or group. Make
a list of the cities or countries from which they came and
locate these places on a map.
and list reasons for moving from one place to another, comparing
conditions at the time of the Great Migration (about 1917-1940)
and the present.
the Civil Rights movement. Who were some of the leaders of
the movement? Find out about the strategies used to press
for racial equality. Locate the cities where major Civil Rights
activity occurred. (See Confrontation at the Bridge)
* indicates questions and activities useful in preparation
for Stanford 9 Tests.