We got a sneak peak of the exhibition this week and took some photos, which you can see below. A long room in the museum is devoted to exploring the scientific, historical and and societal assumptions and theories around race. The exhibition aims to educate and challenge assumptions around race, but also solicits attendees to contribute their thoughts on their own experiences. If you’re looking for a good way to start an in-depth discussion about race, you can find it here.
The nationally touring exhibition, part of an American Anthropological Association project, is free to view and will be on display until Jan. 2, 2012. A number of talks and other events are scheduled throughout its time at the museum, so check the calendar for more information.
Discrimination is not always based on appearances -- voice can play a factor, too. Various portions of the exhibition use data to demonstrate how racism plays out in various aspects of life and society.
Stacks of money represent the average net worth of families, divided by race. The data is based on U.S. Census Bureau statistics. The pile on the front left represents an Asian family's net worth and the pile on the front right represents a black family's net worth. The pile in the back left represents a white family's net worth, and to the right, a Latino family's net worth.
Art is incorporated into the exhibition. A series of portraits hang on one wall, captured by a photographer who asked participants to identify themselves. The artist was struck by the complexity of identity for those with partial Asian Pacific Islander ancestry.
New Census forms debuted in 2010 that asked more detailed questions about race. But is this really the best method to determine the racial makeup of our country? Participants can cast their votes on the question.
The exhibition includes room for roundtable discussions and lockers curated by students from D.C.'s School Without Walls. The students were asked to design lockers to answer questions such as "What is race?" and "Has your life been affected by race?"
This sign is displayed at a table nearing the end. It provides an excellent prompt for young people to have discussions about race, particularly in light of everything else they just saw in the exhibition.