In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, we aimed to provide a simple, visual representation of the ongoing reality of racism in America. The charts show disparities in employment, wages, wealth, intergenerational mobility, the criminal justice system, and several other topics.
The article received a very wide readership, hopefully providing more understanding of a key issue. As our headline suggests, we also hope that the article was a useful tool for people having difficult conversations last year.
This was a fairly straightforward visualization project. We assembled data from a variety of sources, including federal government sources, academic studies, and our prior reporting. Charts were made in Microsoft Excel and Adobe Illustrator, following our in-house style guidelines.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The main challenge of the project was making sure we were able to clearly and concisely describe the several long-running trends in racial disparity for our readers. An article like this that touches on several aspects of a major theme ends up having several moving parts.
What can others learn from this project?
When looking at major social and economic trends in the US, it’s often helpful to show what’s going on. Charts and other data visualizations are a very useful technique for doing that.