Final Project Story Draft

For my final project I will focus on Slave Sales data-set between 1775 and 1865. The data of the slave sales paints a very clear picture of America at the time, making it a very important part in Americas history. For the visualization I chose to compare the defects and sex of a slave and its affect on its appraisal value. I chose a bar graph to display the information because of its clarity and user friendliness. Looking at the graph we can see many factors that predetermine a slaves value. For example when comparing the sex of the slave, the appraisal value most of the time was lower for women then men. Also serious defects can affect a slaves value more than others. On average a male slave in their prime was appraised at $734, pretty high compared to a male slave with cancer valued at $166. The colors in the graph were very important to me as well, I used different shades of green for the sex to symbolize money/value, so viewers would see the changes in appraisal value. When comparing skill sets of slaves men and women are often attached or designated to different fields. For example there were many male field workers but no male child takers, a job specified for females. Women showed most value when they were pregnant or very fertile, as slave masters like to breed other slaves for work. As far as defects men and women share many of the same. Some of the things listed as defects are blatantly racist. With defects listed like dumb, run away, and drunk its clear this data set represents a time where blacks were seen as less than whites. I also noticed children are priced significantly lower than a prime male slave, so much so being a child is listed as a defect. One problem I did have with this data set was the fact a male slave in his prime on average was valued at $100 lower than a male slave with a broken back. This issue makes me question some of the true values of slaves with defects. Another issue was the amount of defects listed; Some of the defects can easily be grouped together to fix some of the clutters. Others like dirt eater need more research to determine what exactly the defect is.