Visual Story

Much of Jacob Lawrence’s work focuses on stories of African Americans’ struggle for freedom and justice. The War Series paintings are based on the artist’s experiences in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. Lawrence served first in an all-Black, segregated regiment, and later he served in an integrated regiment, documenting the war in Italy, England, Egypt, and India. He believed that one cannot “tell a story in a single painting.” This painting is one in a series of fourteen panels. It shows the men in the Coast Guard boarding a ship that is ready to begin a voyage.

Think of yourself as the main character in a story that you could tell about a day in your life. What are your favorite parts of the day? What is the most challenging part? How do you deal with this challenge? Use this comic book template—or draw your own—to tell your story in pictures. 

Jacob Lawrence, War Series: Another Patrol, 1946. Tempera on composition board. 16 1/8 × 20 1/4 in. (41 × 51.4 cm) Image: 15 7/8 × 20 × 1/8 in. (40.3 × 50.8 × 0.3 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger 51.8 © artist or artist’s estate

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