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W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Britt Rusert

W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits

Visualizing Black America

Britt Rusert Whitney Battle-Baptiste

Details: Hardcover
Size: 7 X 10 IN
Pages: 144
Color: 72
Publication Date: 10/23/2018
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781616897062


The colorful charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition by famed sociologist and black rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois offered a view into the lives of Black Americans, conveying a literal and figurative representation of "the color line." From advances in education to the lingering effects of slavery, these prophetic infographics--beautiful in design and powerful in content--make visible a wide spectrum of Black experience.

W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits collects the complete set of graphics in full color for the first time, making their insights and innovations available to a contemporary imagination. As Maria Popova wrote, these data portraits shaped how "Du Bois himself thought about sociology, informing the ideas with which he set the world ablaze three years later in The Souls of Black Folk."Includes contributions from Aldon Morris, Silas Munro, and Mabel O. Wilson.

Whitney Battle-Baptiste is the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center atUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst and an associate professor in theDepartment of Anthropology. She is the author of Black Feminist Archaeology .


"W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits was published on the sesquicentennial year of the Du Bois' birth, and it further reaffirms the scholar's place as a founding figure in American sociology. The recirculation of Du Bois' data portraits offer a new opportunity to marvel at the forward-thinking work being done at Atlanta University."

– Smithsonian Magazine

"This fascinating reproduction of all the data visualizations prepared by Du Bois and his team for the American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition is so modern as to be nearly anachronistic. The introduction is also excellent, briefly providing historical and political context to the primary source materials. These plates represent a very contemporary approach to a social problem that still looms large in our country and will interest scholars of African American studies, design, data visualization, sociology, and history. Summing Up: Highly recommended."

– Choice Magazine

"Du Bois' data visualizations convey the power of information design and "infographic activism."

– Booklist

"You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you come from. W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits offers a comprehensive view of issues Black Americans have faced, from land ownership to education. These infographics were presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition. It's interesting to see how things have--or have not--changed."

– Essence

"For any young designer or graphic artist coming up, it's an inspiring account of how a blend of science and art can call attention to 'invisible struggles.' There is brilliance in truth-telling and sharing stories of real people in design which help us create a deeper sense of empathy for the humanity of others."

– Fast Company