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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > The Church in the Southern Black Community

[Detail] Training School for Wives and Mothers, Baton Gouge, La. 1888.

Historical Comprehension: Interpreting Graphics

Joanna Moore was a white woman from Pennsylvania who spent many years working with African Americans in the South. In 1902, she published her life story, In Christ’s Stead. Below is a graph from her book.

  • What does this graph show? What does each square stand for? Which two groups have the most people according to this graph? What is the source of the graph?
  • Summarize what the graph shows in one or two sentences. How effectively does the graph convey this idea?
  • What major world religions are not shown on the graph? Why do you think they are not shown? Does the information in the graph raise any other questions in your mind?
  • Why do you think Moore included this graph in her autobiography? Read the chapter in which the graph appears to see if you can answer this question more fully. How does understanding an author’s motivation influence your analysis of graphics?

Examine the second graph that Moore includes in her book; this graph shows “Annual Expenditures in the U.S.” Conduct a similar analysis to the one outlined above.