In 1940, he received a grant from the Rosenwald Foundation to create a series of images on the migration of African-Americans from the South. The painter Gwendolyn Knight assisted him on the captions for the images and initial coating of the panels. They married in 1941. The same year The Migration of the Negro series had its debut at the Downtown Gallery. Lawrence was the first artist of color to be represented by a major New York gallery, and the success of this exhibition gave him national prominence. 
Lawrence called his style "dynamic cubism," though it wasn't notably dynamic. His style is strongly influenced by Cubism and the work of Henri Matisse. He was a student of life and made exposing the reality of black people history through painting his life long pursuit.
It's only in retrospect that I realized I was surrounded by art.
The Migration of the Negro
The female worker was also one of the last groups to leave the South