Who are you? Does that affect how other people treat you? Does that affect your future?
Who are you? Does that affect how other people treat you? Does that affect your future? These questions are what History Colorado’s exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?” revolves around.
The exhibit is divided into two major sections: one including historical context, and the other displaying scientific facts. In each section there are multiple presentations; such as the science of race and the Jim Crow Laws, which created discriminating facilities like separate drinking fountains for different races.
Near the entrance, there is a screen with pictures of people of random ethnicity, gender, and size. A quick glance tells you nothing more, but if you look long enough, you will notice the people slowly morphing into other people. This particular presentation points to the fact that all people, regardless of race, are truly not that different.
The exhibit also displays pictures of people who have shared their thoughts about their own racial identities. One interesting example is a man who thinks of himself as “100% Japanese and 100% African-American.”
Theories are presented in the scientific section, like “Mitochondrial Eve,” which presumes that all humans are descendants of one woman. This theory is displayed next to a map of humans’ migratory path out of Africa. The map also illustrates the changes of the mitochondrial (female) DNA and the changes of the Y (male) chromosome as the human race progressed with its evolutionary journey.
The media that the exhibit uses include infographics, videos (some of which are interactive), historical artifacts, and puppets to explain the concept of race to younger children. Patrons are invited to share their stories and feedback on index cards in various places in the exhibit.
History Colorado wants to spark a conversation about race, so the museum is hosting this spectacular traveling exhibit in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association. It has been scientifically proven that if we, as a community, do not talk about race, it becomes a bigger problem. So, attend one of the parent meetings on how to talk to children about race: 10/18, 9:30-11:30 A.M. for all families; 11/16, 4-6 P.M. and 12/6 9:30-11:30 A.M. for adoptive families. I highly recommend this stunning exhibit running until January 4th.
Location: History Colorado, 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203. Admission prices: adults $10, students (13-22) and seniors (65+) $8, children (6-12) $6; children under 5 and members are free.