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Untangling the legacies of the Great Migration

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Photos: Mitro Hood
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Robert Pruitt’s "A Song for Travelers." Photo: Mitro Hood

What does it require to pick up and leave everything and everyone you know … to start a new life. Courage? Fortitude? Determination?

Across six decades, from 1910 to 1970, about six million African Americans made the decision to uproot their lives. They fled the South to points in the north, midwest and western U.S. to escape violence, racism and Jim Crow laws, with hopes to better their lives and those of their children. It was a protracted mass exodus of epic proportion.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is focusing on this arc of history in its latest exhibit: "A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration." We speak with co-curator Jessica Bell Brown, and two featured artists, Akea Brionne and Robert Pruitt.

There are two free admission days coming up, December 15th and January 8th. At 6:30 pm on December 15th, Jessica Bell Brown will host a free conversation with several of the exhibit's artists to discuss Southern culture, belonging, and the process of developing commissioned works of art.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'