River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 18 2013

Can Segregation Be #Beautiful?

Earlier in the summer, musical sensations Mariah Carey and Miguel released a collaboration entitled “#Beautiful.” The song had some chart success and created a solid level of buzz for the long-time diva. However, it’s interesting to consider that multiracial backgrounds of the entertainers: Miguel, for example, has a Mexican father and African-American mother. Mariah, on the other hand, was born to an Irish American mother and Afro-Venezuelan father. Mariah’s racial past has been well-documented in terms of how it’s affected her career. For me, I’ve always been fascinated by the “melting pot” that is America due to our nation’s historical struggle with race that is both laudable and lamentable and continues to haunt our shores to this day. So, when a friend forwarded along a map of our country based on “racial dots,” I knew I had to write a post about it.

“Demographic researcher Dustin Cable’s Racial Dot Map is staggering both visually and statistically. From afar, the most racially diverse pockets of the United States appear like blended watercolors in shades of purple and teal. Zoom all the way in, though, and each dot represents a single person, all 308,745,538 of us.

The data behind the map comes from the 2010 census, available publicly through the National Historical Geographic Information System. Cable, a researcher with the the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, has modeled the project on a previous MIT map plotting population density by individual dots. Cable’s version color-codes the results by race and ethnicity, producing an eerily beautiful picture of American segregation (and, less frequently, integration) that tricks the eye at different scales.” -From The Atlantic

After exploring the different components of the map, I thought it would be cool to do a visual journey of where I’ve lived through out life. I’m currently living in a “majority minority” city (Boston), but even Boston is extremely segregated by its neighborhoods; a dynamic I’ve discovered has significant ramifications for education, public transportations, and other realms in public and private life.

I can’t upload the photos here, so check out this link: http://tonybonthemic.blogspot.com/2013/08/can-segregation-be-beautiful.html

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