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Lawrence’s paintings convey the human experiences of joy, pain, and community through a focus on African American urban life. In Ambulance Call, healthcare workers transport an ailing person on a stretcher as a crowd gathers. Lawrence conveyed the sense of community in his Harlem neighborhood by grouping the figures closely together. In the 1940s, the Harlem Hospital was one of the few facilities in New York City that admitted black patients. The individual expressions of the onlookers communicate sadness and concern. Jacob Lawrence painted blocky forms in a bold but limited palette, creating a rhythmic pattern to express the attention of the onlookers—and capture ours.