Slavery's Explosive Growth: How '20 And Odd' Became Millions by USA Today

Nichelle Smith, an investigations team editor at USA TODAY, recalls attending a lecture at the Library of Congress in early 2018 where she listened to scholars discuss the landing 400 years ago of enslaved Africans at the British colony of Virginia. A name soon caught her attention: "Angela," among the first Africans brought to Virginia in 1619. Angela survived the first leg from Angola on a slave ship, was taken hostage by British pirates and eventually sold to the commander of Jamestown Island. Her age and the date of her death remain unknown.

Smith, along with Deborah Barfield Berry, Kelley Benham French, Rick Hampson and Jarrad Henderson, spent months meticulously reporting and preparing our ambitious series. They were supported by dozens of USA TODAY colleagues – writers, editors, designers, producers, developers, visual specialists – who produced 1619: Searching for Answers, remembering the first enslaved Africans to be brought to the English-speaking colonies that became America.

The challenge before the graphics desk was to research and communicate the scale of those directly affected by slavery in the lands that would become the United States. We built on our previous work, combining data analysis, vector animation, JavaScript visualization, and illustration to convey the explosive growth of this shameful institution.

Learn more about this project and its many contributors here:

The entrant has supplied multiple files for this project: [1] [2]