The Phillips Collection in Washington, D. C. - Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series: 61st Panel Project

Posted: 10/10/2016

The 60th and final panel in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series says “And the migrants keep coming.” Joseph Holston is one of the artists invited by The Phillips Collection “to share a work that builds upon Jacob Lawrence’s visual narrative while illuminating the rich tapestry of the migration experience.” Holston’s painting “Facing the Future” joins works by artists including Kerry James Marshall, Betye Saar, Jinny Yu, Lou Stovall, and Ahlam Shibli in exploring the contemporary manifestations of migration.

Facing the Future
Oil/mixed media
28 × 36 inches

“What does it take for me—black boy, black girl—to get ahead, when even at home every kid in the world is my competition? My ancestors escaped slavery, migrated north—for a chance at a better life. But I still am left behind. Weak schools? Poverty? Racism? In an ever-churning global talent pool, I still struggle to be seen. Everybody has a story. More of us than ever are searching for that elusive better life. It’s still just out of reach. I will stay focused. I will do what I have to do.”