Charlotte finds itself at a challenging time in its history marked by frank and honest discussions about race relations and school equality. While race is a divisive and uncomfortable subject for many, Discovery Place’s well timed new exhibit, RACE: Are We So Different?, tackles it head on.
From the moment visitors enter the 5,000 square foot exhibit, they are asked to explore their own conceptions, understandings and experiences with race. One video asks, “How race relates to human variation,” and tells visitors “It’s all in the gene.” An interactive display asks users to match voices with a picture on a screen, while another challenges them to consider what skin shade reveals.
The exhibit also delves into race in health care and education, and disparities in wealth and opportunities. One of the most extensive pieces of the exhibit is the dark history of race relations in the United States. That portion provides context for how Americans view themselves in the melting pot that makes up American society.
Though it takes time to see and digest much of the exhibit, the end payoff is worth it. It debunks myths and helps thoroughly break down the idea of race. Ultimately visitors find race might only be skin deep.
The exhibit, a project of the American Anthropological Association and the Science Museum of Minnesota, makes it’s first stop in Charlotte and the Southeast. RACE will be on display at Discovery Place through May 8. Accompanying the exhibit are educational opportunities, including a special WFAE-FM Charlotte Talks discussion on race and its impact. That event will be held February 10 at 7pm. RSVP here.