We always hear about the disproportionate number of blacks in prison, but I’ve always wondered: how many are incarcerated and what does that really mean? What I didn’t realize is how difficult it is to pin down a precise number. I mean, true, it doesn’t take too much to find out that black men are incarcerated at a rate six and a half times higher than white men. That’s easily available through the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. But ever since the Justice Policy Institute released a report in 2002 stating that there were more black men in jail than college, people have just ran with the numbers. Continue reading
This week, while I was at church, I heard the most disturbing bit of news from our pastor about Berkeley High (at one time called the most integrated high school in America): that Berkeley High, the school right down the street from my alma mater, only has one black student taking an AP class. Out of a school population of about 3,300 that is 31 percent black, this can’t be true, I thought to myself.
It immediately made me think of my own experience in high school where, like many other black students throughout this country, I felt like I was the only black student taking any advanced courses. Thinking back on it now, I don’t remember any of my AP classes having another black student in them. So it’s no surprise that Berkeley High is supposedly experiencing the same phenomenon. Continue reading
I’ve been hearing a lot about how data visualizations are supposed to be the next wave of displaying information on the Web. I tend to agree with that thinking, mainly because when a bunch of information is presented in a graphically pleasing way, it makes you more engaged in what could have rather been just another boring set of data. So for my next journalism experiment, I thought I’d try to do my own data visualization. With so many free data visualization tools out there nowadays, why not? Continue reading