Revered by everyone from Martin Luther King Jr to Beyoncé, WEB Du Bois stands as one of the most important and influential African American activists and intellectuals of the 20th century.

As co-founder of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and author of the seminal book The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois is celebrated for his profound and prolific writings. But alongside his famous essays, Du Bois produced an astounding – yet little-known – body of infographics to challenge pseudo-scientific racism, making visual arguments every bit as powerful as his textual ones.

His modern designs used striking shapes and bold primary colours to present essential research on the achievements of African Americans since emancipation. Exhibited at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, these 60 charts and maps visually communicated what Du Bois described as 'the problem of the colour line' in turn-of-the-century America to an international audience.

This exhibition presents WEB Du Bois’ infographics as well as original artwork by Mona Chalabi, data editor at The Guardian. Chalabi’s work demonstrates the enduring relevance of Du Bois’ data visualisation methods and the racial inequalities he fought against.

London


House of Illustration

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