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MHS High Schoolers Create Art to Depict African American History

Milton Hershey School juniors and seniors recently studied the Great Migration in their African American History class—a time period where African Americans left Southern rural communities and migrated to Northern and Western communities.

To learn about the cultural, social, and economic effects of the migration, MHS students studied 60 artistic panels painted by artist Jacob Lawrence. The hand-painted panels depict the journey from the South and are housed in the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.

As students discussed the ongoing journey of African Americans after the Great Migration, they were asked to create their own panel to potentially be published on The Phillips Collection’s website as part of its #PANEL61 movement. Students worked together to answer several questions about the impact of the Great Migration on present-day communities, and brought their responses and insights to life by creating colorful panels.

“Our students had a variety of interpretations after responding to each question,” said Kelly O’Brien, a social studies teacher at MHS. “They were extremely thoughtful and creative in their visualizations.”

A total of 39 students created artwork and received feedback from their peers. The class selected 10 students’ work to be submitted to the #PANEL61 forum, and all 10 were featured on the #PANEL61 website.

Congratulations to the following students:

  • Frederick Bradford
  • Steven Dallas
  • Gamael Jean-Francois
  • Kyla Goldbach
  • Tyler Jones
  • Christian Negron
  • Joe Pontano
  • Sean Proctor
  • Jared Ross
  • Samia Tarley

View their artwork.