The Great Migration

Title:  The Great Migration

Site:  Donnelley Center Community Art Garden
3947 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Artist:  Marcus Akinlana

Assistants:  Nyame Brown, Juan Chávez, Stephanie George, and Julia Sowles

Community Participants:  Donnelley Center youth and staff

Sponsors:  Chicago Public Art Group and Elliot Donnelley Youth Center

Year:  1995

Scale:  30 ft. x 90 ft.

Materials:  Acrylic paint on masonry

Information:  This mural documents the migration of African Americans from the South to Chicago, specifically to the Douglas Boulevard and Grand Avenue area, after World War II. The mural contrasts a rural, agrarian past with the proliferation of urban industry and entertainment. This theme was decided in conjunction with Donnelley staff and community members as a relevant and vital artistic statement for the near Southside community. The Donnelley Center is located around a once thriving business and economic hub of the African-American community that was spun from the great migration. It is hoped that the mural will serve as both a landmark testimony to that legacy as well as uplift a community that has been plagued by the difficult social conditions facing inner city America.