Race exhibit lined up for Missouri History Museum in January





I spoke last week with Melanie Adams, managing director at the Missouri History Museum, about an exhibit the museum is bringing in January called “Race: Are We So Different.” I asked her to write a little something about the exhibit. I have more information after the item.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin, author

This quote by James Baldwin is an apt description of race relations in St. Louis. Every day the country gets more racially diverse, and people in St. Louis continue to ignore this simple fact of life. The racial diversity of any city should be seen as an asset and a way of enriching lives. Instead, many people use race as a means of separation and divisiveness and so prevent any positive change.

The Missouri History Museum is proud to bring the exhibit Race: Are We So Different? to the St. Louis community starting on Jan. 16. This exhibit, designed by the American Anthropological Association, tells the story of race through three themes: the science of human variation, the history of the idea of race, and the contemporary experience of race and racism in the United States. The larger goal of the exhibit is to use science to help communities understand the origins and manifestations of race and racism in every day life...

I also talked this week with Robert Garfinkle, project leader at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, where the race exhibit was originated in January 2007. He said the exhibit ran there through April 2007 and has toured to museums across the country in cities including Detroit, Jersey City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

“It was incredibly well-received here,” Garfinkle said. “We had tremendous enthusiasm for the exhibit.” The museum’s website has a description of the exhibit and the themes that it covers: the everyday experience of race, the science of human variation and the history of the idea of race...


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