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
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
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