A Pretty 1940 Map of American Diversity, Annotated by Langston Hughes
Slate: This map, issued by the Council Against Intolerance in America in 1940, shows the ethnic groups living in the United States, offering a picture of their geographical locations, typical employment, and religious commitments.
The map omits state boundaries, opting instead to show the mix of ethnic groups by area. For heavily-populated areas, such as the Northeast or Chicago, pop-out keys framed with line drawings of people engaged in typical industries show the diversity of urban citizenry.
Altas Obscura: “Maps of this kind were not particularly common and especially not at this scale,” says Ian Fowler, the director of Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine, who notes that the physical map itself is quite large. “While this map does borrow stylistic elements from pictorial maps produced during the 1920s and ‘30s, it is very unique in its emphasis and display of information.”
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