Omaha’s Durham Museum explores the complex topic of race in its new exhibit, RACE: Are We So Different? The exhibit provides a modern scientific understanding of the subject matter, pushing visitors to look past what they thought they knew about race.
“Everyone has a personal experience of race, and it’s natural to presume that your common-sense understanding is true,” said Daniel Ginsberg of the American Anthopoligical Association, “But anthropology works by ‘making the familiar strange,’ getting past your assumptions and showing that things really work in ways that might surprise you.”
According to its website, RACE navigates through race and racism using three different lenses: biology, history, and everyday experiences. Throughout history, race has been used to discern differences between peoples, justifying laws and deeds based upon the idea of superiority of particular races. This exhibit aims to break down the so-called differences our contemporary world has been built upon by viewing the topic through these three perspectives.
RACE utilizes audio, video, artifacts and interactive features to accomplish this mission.
“I loved how the exhibit tied in so many different mediums to help me understand the topic," College or Arts and Sciences freshman Mary Dors said.
"This included activities that traced the origins of what we call race, visual aids that helped me grasp the relationship between race and the wealth gap and audio that revealed the biases and preconceptions society often holds based on race.”
Durham Museum’s director of communications, Jessica Brummer, expressed that while it is undeniably important for people of all ages to become well informed on this ever-prevalent issue of race, young people play a special role in this area of understanding.
“College students are important visitors to museums in general. They are the next generation of leaders and change makers. By learning from our history and understanding it, they will be able to act and make change for the future. By understanding the past we can make more sense out of the present and make change for the future,” she said.
The RACE exhibit will be open to the public at the Durham Museum through Jan. 5. Tickets for admission can be bought online at the museum’s website or upon arrival.