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Data Visualization Project

Bilalian News and the Sacred Business of Cooperative Economics

This visualization examines the national circulation of Bilalian News (1975-1981), the highest circulating African American weekly of its day, from January 1975 to June 1978, in its relation to the cooperative economic initiatives of the World-Community of Al-Islam (WCIW) in the West.  The data suggests that sales of Bilalian News provided a critical asset in increasing the WCIW’s cooperative economic efforts with respect to three key indices:  visitor attendance at local mosques, local fish sales and area sardine sales of its members.  More broadly, the study suggests that within distinct markets, such as those afforded to the WCIW, African American newspapers offer a critical resource in advancing cooperative economic endeavors.