Tufte eat your heart out!
February 25, 2011 11:17 AM   Subscribe

"A Series of Statistical Charts, Illustrating The Condition of the Descendants of Former African Slaves Now Resident In the United States of America." (HQ Library of Congress links.) W.E.B. DuBois : "I wanted to set down its aim and method in some outstanding way which would bring my work to the notice of the thinking world. The great World's Fair at Paris was being planned and I thought I might put my findings into plans, charts and figures, so one might see what we were trying to accomplish."

"The Exhibit of American Negroes an exhibit by W. E. B. DuBois, Thomas Calloway and the Historic Black Colleges for the Paris 1900 International Exposition, chroniced the experience of African Americans up to the year 1900.

Background, more links and pictures: All My Eyes Blog
posted by stratastar (8 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome! Glad this made it in before the end of Black History Month.
posted by Eideteker at 11:25 AM on February 25, 2011

Some of these look strikingly modern for 1900. Nice find.
posted by theodolite at 11:38 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah I was struck by how modern this looked as well. When I first saw this zoomed in I thought it was something new that had been made to look old.

It looks similar to Bauhaus, but it predates that by a couple decades.
posted by delmoi at 11:43 AM on February 25, 2011

I knew W.E.B. DuBois was brilliant, but I didn't know he had such a brilliant sense of visual style.
posted by freshwater at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2011

Fantastic! Thanks so much.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 12:03 PM on February 25, 2011

Tufte would be rolling in his grave at this one. I mean, if he were dead. And this one is a nice example of confusing chart junk where a very simple graph would suffice. Am I supposed to be comparing the areas of those money bags? People are terrible at that.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:16 PM on February 25, 2011

Tufte would be wrong to roll on that one, I think. It took me a moment to see that the city-rural chart was using the length of the line between sharp bends to represent population size (it's a bit hard to see the text in the image) but once I got it, I thought it was a clever and visually appealing way to show the huge population concentration in rural areas. Much better than a pie chart with a few slivers so small you can barely notice them, or a bar chart with one line so long you can't fit it on a sheet without making the bars so small you can't tell their relative size.
posted by Marty Marx at 2:46 PM on February 25, 2011

Wow, great find.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:54 PM on February 25, 2011

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