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W.E.B. Du Bois Turned Data Into Art, And Used It To Humanize The Black Experience09:46
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W.E.B. Du Bois' infographic displaying income and expenditures of black families in Atlanta. (Courtesy)
W.E.B. Du Bois' infographic displaying income and expenditures of black families in Atlanta. (Courtesy)

Data are more than just facts and figures — they can tell a story.

That's exactly what W.E.B. Du Bois was using data for in 1900, when he showcased dozens of data portraits at a world's fair in Paris.

The portraits offered a rare glimpse of African-American life, post-Emancipation. The idea was to change the conventional narrative about people of color at the fair, which generally portrayed them as savages who needed the civilizing influence of colonialism.

For the first time, two UMass-Amherst professors have compiled all the images together into a book titled "W.E.B. Du Bois' Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America."

Guest

Paris Alston, Radio Boston producer. She tweets @BonjourParis_.

This segment aired on February 25, 2019.

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Paris Alston Twitter Producer, Radio Boston
Paris is an associate producer for Radio Boston.

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Callum Borchers Twitter Reporter
Callum covers the Greater Boston business community for Bostonomix.

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