Harlem Renaissance: Jacob Lawrence's Ambulance Call
In this way, Lawrence's family was a part of "The Great Migration," a period in the earliest decades of the last century when more than a quarter million African-Americans left their rural southern state homes to move to more free-thinking urban centers such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. This led to a cultural and intellectual heyday given the term "the Harlem Renaissance."
Whether or not the writers of The Harlem Renaissance withstood time in Literature, they had one common denominator, bringing an end to inequality. Blacks in America were not given the equality that they were promised with the abolition of slavery and self-expression was an idea that they were afraid to utilize because the whites never let them forget their assumed-inferiorly. The movement of The Harlem Renaissance gave writers the courage and the opportunity to write about the atrocities that blacks still suffer. They wrote about the culture of the African American people and the social norms that affect them. The movement woke up the blacks and gave them the bravery to fight to for their rights; it also woke up the whites to the creativity of the black people; more than that it scared them to reevaluate their attitude towards blacks. Whereas The Harlem Renaissance gives blacks a voice, it was the conscience of the whites.
The Artist’s most significant purpose behind creating this piece was to clear misconceptions about the heritage, and show the African Americans’ unity and zealousbess towards their race (Driskell, David C., 1994). Dreams by Jacob Lawrence strategically utilizes the principles of art, as well as themes of African American past, in order to inform the rest of the world about the uniqueness of the African-American culture, and at the same time inspire the African Americans to move forward from their horrendous past in an enlightened manner.
Ambulance Call exemplifies Lawrence’s melding of traditional narrative subjects and the visual language of modernism. The schematically rendered figures wear bright, monochromatic clothing. The artist distributed passages of red, blue, yellow, green, and black throughout the picture in a lively, rhythmic pattern.
Diamond, Anna. “Why the Works of Visionary Artist Jacob Lawrence Still Resonate a Century After His Birth.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 5 Sept. 2017, www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/why-works-visionary-artist-jacob-lawr
Driskell, David C., et al. Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America. Studio Museum in Harlem, 1994.
Harlem Renaissance.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, edited by William A. Darity, Jr., 2nd ed., vol. 3, Macmillan Reference USA, 2008, pp. 424-426. Gale Virtual Reference Library, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3045300994/GVRL?u=powa9245&sid=GVRL&xid=833edb05. Accessed 13 Dec. 2018.
“Harlem Renaissance.” Literary Movements for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Literary Movements, edited by Ira Mark Milne, 2nd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2009, pp. 335-373.