W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America

Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert (eds.)


Princeton Architectural Press, 2018. Hardcover, 144pp., 7.25 x 10.25 inches


The colorful charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition by famed sociologist and 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.

This collection presents 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.