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The Migration Series, Panel no. 19: There had always been discrimination.

Jacob Lawrence ( between 1940 and 1941 )

A white woman drinks from a water fountain on one side of the river. On the otherside a black woman and her child drink from a separate fountain.
  • Period Twentieth-Century
  • Materials Casein tempera on hardboard
  • Object Number 1161
  • Dimensions 18 x 12 in.; 45.72 x 30.48 cm.
  • Credit Line Acquired 1942; © 2022 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Excerpts taken from Elizabeth Hutton Turner’s interview with Jacob Lawrence, October 1993, transcript in The Phillips Collection Archives:

Jacob Lawrence: This represents the segregation. It’s a symbol of segregation. In this instance, the black, the white separated. And sometimes these separations were just a cord, a string running through a room, a schoolroom when this was breaking down just the idea that there was this boundary. There was this movement. And here it’s amazing when I look at this. One represents a white. One represents a black. They’re both women, but except for the color, they look exactly the same. They’re dressed the same way. They have the same kind of coats, the same kind of hats, apparel. The landscape is the very same. So what’s the difference? It’s a psychological barrier, and I tried to, this is the way I notate it.

Screenshot of Jacob Lawrence microsite

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