Installation view, A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration. Photo by Mitro Hood

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration


Between 1915 and 1970, in the wake of racial violence and inequalities in the United States, more than six million African Americans left their homes in the rural South. Many migrated to cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, while others relocated to cities within the South and beyond. They moved in every direction, transforming the economic, cultural, social, political, and ecological makeup of the entire country.

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration illuminates the stories of the Great Migration through quilts, photographs, short films, paintings, and even a recreated double wide trailer that once served as a candy store by day and juke joint by night.

Reflect on this moment in history and consider your own family ancestry through the eyes and work of 12 Black artists:

Akea Brionne

Mark Bradford

Zoë Charlton

Larry W. Cook

Torkwase Dyson

Theaster Gates Jr.

Allison Janae Hamilton

Leslie Hewitt

Steffani Jemison

Robert Pruitt

Jamea Richmond-Edwards

Carrie Mae Weems


The exhibition is co-curated by Jessica Bell Brown, Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art at the BMA and Ryan N. Dennis, Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

The exhibition is co-organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Generous support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund, the Suzanne F. Cohen Exhibition Fund, Agnes Gund, Transamerica, BGE, the Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc. and John Meyerhoff and Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff.



Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.