Mapping courage in the Seventh Ward © Christian Carollo/Shutterstock
To mark the beginning of Black History Month, we"re visiting a highlight of Philadelphia"s famous Mural Mile. The larger-than-life figure depicted on the left in this mural is W.E.B. Du Bois, trailblazing scholar, sociologist, author, and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It was here, in Philadelphia"s Seventh Ward neighborhood during the late 1890s, that Du Bois conducted a detailed study of an African American community. He used methodologies—including detailed data visualizations—that were decades ahead of his time, mapping out every household and documenting the challenges that residents encountered as they tried to achieve success and happiness in the decades after Reconstruction and the dawn of the Jim Crow era.