A Movement in Every Direction

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A Great Migration Critical Reader

Edited by Jessica Bell Brown and Ryan N. Dennis

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $40.00
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Through images and texts both historical and contemporary, this book looks at the Great Migration and its profound and ongoing impact

This thoughtful interweaving of text and imagery presents a variety of perspectives on the Great Migration (1915–70), the mass exodus and dispersion of millions of African Americans out of the South. Through archival photography, newspaper clippings, maps, journal articles, book excerpts, and ephemera such as family recipes, the book immerses readers in Black history, the Great Migration, and its legacy. The book includes texts by authors ranging from W. E. B. Du Bois and Jean Toomer to Toni Tipton-Martin and culminates in a candid roundtable discussion about familial migration stories among some of the most respected Black artists, writers, and scholars working today: Theaster Gates, Kiese Laymon, Carrie Mae Weems, and others. The material is presented in three unique, thematic sections that explore the Great Migration’s impact on the American city, Black Southern foodways, and cultural expression.

Taken as a whole, this important volume provides powerful testimony to the systemic challenges such as social segregation, racism, and discrimination that Black communities have faced from the post-Emancipation period to the present moment.

Published in association with the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Mississippi Museum of Art

Jessica Bell Brown is curator and department head of contemporary art at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Ryan N. Dennis is chief curator and artistic director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange at the Mississippi Museum of Art.


Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
(April 9–September 11, 2022)

Baltimore Museum of Art
(October 30, 2022–January 29, 2023)

ISBN: 9780300264463
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Mississippi Museum of Art
320 pages, 7 7/8 x 10 1/2
189 color illus.
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