Insights

Communication and Technology news

The designer who illustrated racism, inequality, and black life in America, 120 years ago

W.E.B. Du Bois was a sociologist and civil rights activist—as well as a groundbreaking designer. A show of his work underlines its relevance today. At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris—a global trade fair which welcomed the new century—visitors enjoyed attractions like a giant...
W.E.B. Du Bois was a sociologist and civil rights activist—as well as a groundbreaking designer. A show of his work underlines its relevance today. At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris—a global trade fair which welcomed the new century—visitors enjoyed attractions like a giant kaleidoscope in the “Palace of Optics” and exotic marine life in a 2,368 foot aquarium. One booth, designed by historian, sociologist, and prominent civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, was a collection of hand-drawn infographics illustrating data related to black life in post-Civil War America. Du Bois expressed this information in a series of colorful charts—today we’d call them data visualizations—that illustrated everything from household incomes to the number of existing black-owned newspapers. In a new exhibit at London’s House of Illustration, all 63 graphics created by DuBois (and a team of students from his sociology laboratory at the historically black college Atlanta University, now known as Clark Atlanta University) are on display—a first for the United Kingdom, and a reflection of the relevance of Du Bois’s work in the present day.Read Full Story
bois designer relevance work civil

Need a professional cloud based solution for your email and productivity?

Join Google G Suite