Race Website Review
One in the Same
RACE- Are We So Different? is a traveling and powerful exhibit that proves just how revolutionary exhibits can be to society. It explores race and racism in the United States through science, history, and lived experiences. RACE discusses sensitive issues with factual information, yet its viewers never feel the sensitivity of the issue. Instead, people are willing to discuss and address these tough topics with an informed, and sometimes new, point of view. By using interactive exhibit pieces, historical artifacts, famous objects, captivating photographs and multimedia presentations, RACE test some common beliefs through its key messages which are that race is a current human invention, and how race is about culture, not biology. Also, that race and racism are embedded in our institutions and everyday life. RACE: Are We So Different? is part of a larger educational program called American Anthropological Association (AAA). The exhibition was developed with the Science Museum of Minnesota more than three years ago, with the help from the National Science Foundation along with the Ford Foundation. The program includes the 5,000-square-foot RACE exhibition, an interactive Website and educational materials.
I will admit that my expectations for RACE were low. I expected something very dull and educational, maybe a little rough or preachy, but it was nothing like that at all. A straightforward, rational tone, combined with a variety of non-authoritative voices often channeled through familiar contexts (the high school cafeteria or the census data, for some examples) made this exhibit engaging and relevant. People get the main idea very clearly: that race is a cultural construct, not a scientific fact. The blending of science, sociology, anthropology and history was successful because of an all-inclusive approach, one that is worth imitating for other subjects. I think the museum world could use more bold and topical projects like RACE.