As of March 29, 2006, the Global Mappings
political atlas web site will be closed.
Thank you for your participation in
the 2001-2006 pilot project.

How to Use the Global Mappings Atlas

Men and women members of the Cuban Liberation Army
Image from Aline Helg’s, "Our Rightful Share: The Afro-Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886-1912” University of North Carolina Press, 1995. Used with permission.

 Students at the secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels can interact with the atlas at different levels of sophistication. In the area of the humanities, the atlas has the potential to be used as a foundational reference for consideration of the interface between politics and culture in the modern African diaspora; for example, charting links and connections between the Negritude movement (with its emphasis on a transnational black identity and ontology), the black arts movement in the United States and civil rights struggles in the United States, Brazil and South Africa.

A second objective of the global mapping project is to develop a resource for scholars and students of social movements who are interested in identifying and quantifying patterns and criteria of political leadership and mass organization. Questions which prompt investigation into possible cross-national patterns, for example, compare:

  1. the educational and socio-economic backgrounds of participants in Black Power and Black Consciousness movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the United States, Trinidad, Jamaica, South Africa, Ghana and Brazil

  2. the political affiliations of Negritude writers of the New World and the African continent

  3. the role of women involved in Pan-Africanist organizations in West Africa, the Caribbean, the U.K. and the United States in the post-World War II period through the 1960s.

A third objective of the atlas is to assist scholars in the identification and charting of patterns and contours of transnational black ideologies and practices. As the number of entries in the atlas grows, one will be able to extract key biographical information about political leadership and constituencies of various organizations, mass rebellions and social movements in an effort to discern patterns across time and space.

“Firmly support American Blacks in their righteous struggle!", slogan on a People's Republic of China poster.
Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House, 1963.

Global Mappings Atlas Layout

Information and entries can be accessed in several different ways. Entries fall under three categories: World Historical Events, Black Agency and Pogroms; as well as an index and a category of keywords, concepts and places.

  • World Historical Events are events such as the Great Depression or the Armistice of 1919 that affected multiple regions and parts of the world.
  • Black Agency entries represent various phenomena of black political mobilization, direct or indirect, public or clandestine, in relation to local conditions as well as more global events.
  • Pogroms encompass the repression, massacre or forced migration of African-descended populations.  

Students could conduct a program search for a particular local, national or global event and subsequently obtain more detailed information about various related events occurring simultaneously or in the aftermath of the initial event.

Please explore now "Global Mappings: A Political Atlas of the African Diaspora." Suggestions or criticisms can be sent to Northwestern's Multimedia Learning Center.

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