Mapping Plunder in American History

40:27 Published September 21, 2016

Justin Madron & Rob Nelson, University of Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab. This presentation will focus on two maps from American Panorama: "The Forced Migration of Enslaved People, 1810-1860" and "Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America" (soon to be released). The former presents the most detailed map produced to date of the one million forced migrations of enslaved African Americans through the domestic slave trade and the migration of slaveowners and their human chattel to the lower South. The latter presents and visualizes an enormous amount of data for about 200 American cities amassed by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation in the 1930s, a process which entrenched and exacerbated inequalities of wealth between white families and families of color in the twentieth century. In our presentation, we will explore our aim to use mapping of core institutions of the American economy and polity--the slave trade and federal housing policy-- to encourage people to recognize and grapple with what Ta-Nehisi Coates has powerfully characterized as "the multi-century plunder of black people in America."

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