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Black History Month + Data Science

Updated: Feb 2

February is Black History Month! This month is a time for the education and celebration of Black American contributions that have helped shape our nation and its history. Take time to learn about the work accomplished by Black practitioners in data science, analytics, and AI, and view our updated list (revised from February 2022) of the data science + BHM-related resources we gathered below.


A Computer Scientist Who Tackles Inequality Through Algorithms

Rediet Abebe uses the tools of theoretical computer science to understand pressing social problems — and try to fix them.


Race and America: why data matters

More than a century after WEB Du Bois’s groundbreaking work, data activism is still crucial for social change.


Black Data Scientists and AI Practitioners Today

In this post, the author recommends seven inspiring Black data scientists whose work is worth following. Read the previous posts that covered two historical figures in data science: W.E.B Du Bois and Valerie Thomas. Also read: What does data science (and analytics, and artificial intelligence) have to do with Black History Month?


Not JUST Data

Ruha Benjamin created the Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab at Princeton, which brings together students, educators, activists and artists to rethink and retool data for justice.

“The concept of JUST Data is to highlight that no data are actually objective,” said Cierra Robson, Class of 2019 and a mentee of Benjamin’s. “Instead we need to find ways to make it just — as in justice. We need to identify ways to use data for the social good.”


W.E.B. Du Bois + Data Visualization

Learn about the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard, scholar and pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois, his powerful and groundbreaking data visualizations. By conducting ethnographic field work and statistical analysis in 1900, Du Bois expanded the possibilities of visualizing empirical data, while contextualizing the realities of African Americans' experiences and revealing institutionalized racism to the world. His methodologies were far ahead of his time, and his work is as impactful and compelling today as it was over a century ago.

"At the 1900 Paris Exposition, an all African-American team lead by scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois sought to challenge and recontextualize the perception of African-Americans at the dawn of the 20th-century. In less than 5 months, his team conducted sociological research and hand-made more than 60 large data visualization posters for a massive European audience which ultimately awarded Du Bois a gold medal for his efforts. While relatively obscure until recently, the ramification of his landmark work remains challenging and especially important in light of the Black Lives Matter movement."


Short Wave Celebrates Black Excellence In Science

NPR's Short Wave takes a moment to highlight just a few of the many incredible black scientists featured so far on the show. View their bios along with links to the episodes they appear in.


9 Black Women in Data Science You Should Know

Olusayo Adeleye & Funke Aderonmu of the Sadie Collective compiled a list of nine Black women data scientists to know.


Data science takes on racial bias

As part of the Stanford University School of Engineering Engineering for All Video Series, a group of scholars discuss how medicine, artificial intelligence, criminology, and other fields can better understand and anticipate bias and the ways it manifests in society.


How TIME Re-created the 1963 March on Washington in Virtual Reality

Learn how the visual-effects studio Digital Domain captured the expressions, movements and spirit of King, so that he could appear digitally in The March, a virtual reality experience that TIME has produced in partnership with the civil rights leader’s estate.

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