This 1991 State of the Arts feature about Jacob Lawrence includes an interview with the famous artist himself, then in his mid-70s. Lawrence spent his long career exploring the history and struggles of African Americans. Born in Atlantic City in 1917, he moved to Philadelphia as a small child and then to New York where he studied with artists from the Harlem Renaissance.

His Migration Series is now an American classic, and has inspired countless other artists. It’s a 60-panel group of narrative paintings depicting the early 20th Century migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban, industrialized North. Part of the series is now owned by MOMA in New York and part by the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.

Susan Wallner produced the feature, Amber Edwards narrates. Nila Aronow served as executive producer.