a.  Grades K-12: Ask your students to look closely at Motley’s painting Town of Hope, 1927 and describe what they see. Ask students to notice the colors and discuss the mood of the painting. What do they notice about the way that Motley has depicted the town? Discuss the title of the painting. Does it seem like a town of hope to your students? Why or why not? Motley does not show any of the people’s faces. Why do students think he made that choice? What can they tell about the people by their body language?

b. Grades 6-12: Whether migrating or not, African Americans experienced racism in the North and the South. Ask your students to use the resources in the Bibliography and Links seciton fo this guide to research and discuss the Great Migration. What problems did African Americans encounter? How does students’ knowledge of the Great Migration change the way that they see this painting?

c. Grades 6-12: Ask students to discuss migration in the world today and related current events such as the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. What do students think the refugees and migrants hope for? What problems and difficulties have they encountered? How do students think the world should address the Syrian refugee crisis? How might it be resolved?

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Town of Hope, 1927. Oil on canvas, 38 1/2 x 31 1/2 in. (97.8 x 80 cm). Johnson Publishing Company. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne