“RACE: Are We So Different?” opens at the National Museum of Natural History

The new exhibit RACE: Are We So Different?” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History begs a simple question to a complex answer: “Race – what do you see?”

The exhibit discusses three main factors: Science, by exploring human migration and debunking health myths tied to race; History, by analyzing slavery and anthropometrics; and Lived Experience, offering first-person stories on being defined by skin color.


The HAPA Project lines up 17young and old individuals who define themselves in a few lines by race alone in the exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. (Courtesy of American Anthropological Association and Science Museum of Minnesota)

"The Colors We Are" lets patrons photograph their skin and compare the shades within a mosaic in the exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. (Courtesy of American Anthropological Association and Science Museum of Minnesota)

Dr. Yolanda Moses, the lead curator of the exhibit, is seeking to shift the understanding of what people think they see when they look at each other – with a special focus on young adults. “This exchange is for students, high school, junior high students…because these are the young people who are asking questions about race that we haven’t given them answers for,” she says.

The traveling exhibit, a project of the American Anthropological Association, with the Science Museum of Minnesotra, opens June 18 and will be on view through Jan. 2, 2012. For more information, visit smm.org/race/

 

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