Geospatial Work

The following are drafts of some of the geospatial work I have done for my monograph-in-progress. The dataset documents over 500 Black activists between 1735 and 1860. It was cleaned with OpenRefine, and the maps are rendered in Tableau. Tableau has some limitations in terms of color schemes and UDX, and I hope to create an interactive map once I am finished with the monograph. I will also publish my datasets at that time. Maps are not for use without prior written permission.


A map of the Americas, Western Africa, and Western and Center Europe, depicting the location of Black activists in blue.

This map is an overview of all of my data, showing the “hot spots” where Black writers and speakers appear in the sources between 1735 and 1860.


A map of the Eastern United States, depicting the location of Black letter writers. Most of the data shows the writers writing from major port cities.

My data is broken down by location, as well as the type of source. This map shows correspondence written by Black activists in the eastern United States between 1735 and 1825. It’s a small subset of the data. In the Tableau rendering, it is possible to click on the dots to find full metadata, including the writer’s name, gender, and the date of the correspondence.


A set of maps depicting Black activists by gender, as the data is available. The map on the left is of Africa and Europe. The map on the right is of the United States from the Mississippi eastward.

This rendering shows a breakdown of men and women activists. The men are in orange and the women are in blue. While women are underrepresented in the sources, one of the things this map does show is that the women activists are as geographically dispersed as the men.


A graph depicting the relative number of publications by Black writers.

I also used Tableau’s graphic features to determine which cities had the highest levels of publications (broadly used) by Black writers over time. The cities were Boston, London, New York, and Philadelphia.