Make your own free website on

The Builders:  The Family
By Jacob Lawrence

What does this picture show about this family's success?
How are they shown being respectable and responsible?
Why did the artist show them walking in a community where builders are working?
What jobs are the workers shown doing?
What does that tell about their skills and abilities?
Why did the artist include a white worker in the picture?
How have things improved since the time of segregation of black and white people?

Class 4-429, Ms. Charmaine Ricketts, Teacher

Jacob Lawrence was very thoughtful of blacks.  This black man was one of the first artists to paint black people.

I think Jacob Lawrence painted this picture to show that blacks and whites can work together and a black man can take care of his family.

Back in the day black people were not allowed to get proper jobs, but now we have freedom.

The people in this picture can be creative and can build things.  They can participate with others.

I think the picture is about black and white people getting along and being able to work as one, like buddies, without anyone bossing them around.

Back in Jacob Lawrence’s day black history was not taught in school so he went to a library in Harlem to learn about it.

This picture shows a man and his wife and kids.  When black people were slaves they couldn’t get married, but in the picture it looks like these people were married.

In the picture the workers are building a house for someone.  I think the house is for the family because they are dressed nice.

The family is dressed up completely neat and it looks like they were coming from church.

I think the husband and wife are coming from work.  Then they went to pick up their children from day care or school.  The children look like they are happy because they had a fun day.

Jacob Lawrence painted this picture with black men and a white man in the background, and I think he is trying to show you how they can work together.

All the people in the picture are black except for one white man.  Jacob Lawrence purposely put him there to show that black and white people can work together and do a good job.

I think maybe Jacob Lawrence painted this picture to make people communicate.  The painting tells us we should work together in harmony.

Art Share is based on the New York State Learning Standards:
Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art
Understanding the Cultural Dimensions and Contributions of Arts
Art Share is an art appreciation project at Public School 241, Brooklyn, New York, USA
  Gary Greenberg