Black People Migrating West

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    Photo: Dan Jurgens
late 1970s
Paint, poster board, with wood frame
21.25 x 28.25 inches
Collection of
High Museum of Art
Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

I like to show railroad tracks. They always build colored town by the railroad tracks. When I was a boy we'd go to where the train was just parked there and we'd open the watermelon cars. I'm thinking that watermelons are real valuable stuff. We'd open the cars and run with the watermelons. That's what I remember best about railroad tracks. When I was a boy you could tell colored town by the railroad tracks going across, separating the whites from blacks. Lots of times blacks was the ones built the tracks, like for Mr. Flagler on Florida's east coast. One way of knowing your environment is understanding the history. Blacks couldn't ride except on the back of the train, couldn't live but on one side of the tracks. But now the trains have come to mean freedom.