RACE: Are We So Different?

It's a simple truth.

People are different. Throughout history, these differences have been a source of community strength and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression.

The idea of "race" has been used historically to describe these differences and justify mistreatment of people and even genocide. Today, contemporary scientific understanding of human variation is beginning to challenge "racial" differences, and even question the very concept of race.

RACE: Are We So Different?, developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.

RACE: Are We So Different? was the 2008 "Excellence in Exhibition Competition" winner by the American Association of Museums.

5,000 sq. ft. Exhibit Features

  • A Project of the American Anthropological Association
  • Designed for families and teens
  • Engaging interactive content
  • Flexible installation in as little as 3,000 sq. ft.
  • Accompanying website with interactive tools
  • Educational materials for onsite and community use
  • Flexible community outreach / promotions toolkit
  • 24-hour Technical support
  • An exhibitor friendly, turnkey operation
  • Flexible Terms

Lease Terms

  • Booking deposit
  • Installation period of eight days for installation and six days for take down
  • Host provides set-up & take-down crew of 6
  • Certificates of insurance
  • Deposit required upon booking
  • Host institution pays inbound shipping for 3 trailer loads

Traveling Exhibition Venue Schedule

LocationOpen DateClose DateStatus
Berkeley, CA Jan. 2010May 2010Completed
Rochester, MNMay 2010Sept. 2010Completed
Phoenix, AZOct. 2010Jan. 2011Completed
Charlotte, NCFeb. 2011May 2011Completed
New Orleans, LAJune 2011Sept. 2011Completed
Houston, TXOct. 2011Jan. 2012Completed
Richmond, VAJan. 2012April 2012Completed
Portland, ORSept. 2012Jan. 2013Completed
Jacksonville, FLJan. 2013April 2013Completed
Birmingham, ALMay 2013March 2014Completed
Pittsburgh, PAMarch 2014Oct. 2014Completed
RefurbishedNov. 15, 2014Sept. 6, 2015Refurbished
Des Moines, IANov. 2015April 2016Completed
Columbia, SCJune 2016Sept. 2016Booked
Louisville, KYSept. 2016Jan. 2017Booked
AvailableJan. 2017April 2017Available
AvailableMay 2017Sept. 2017Available
AvailableSept. 2017Jan. 2018Available
AvailableFeb. 2018May 2018Available

Race: Are We So Different? Overview

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Creating Race
Creating Race
Slave shackles from the early 1800s provide a visceral reminder of the connection between race and the vast inequalities found in 19th-century America.

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Human (Mis)measure
Human (Mis)measure
The second station, Human (Mis)measure, focuses on the pursuit of "race science" in the 19th and 20th centuries, which often legitimized racial and ethnic inequalities.

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Separate and Unequal
Separate and Unequal
Separate and Unequal traces the history of inequality and privilege in the United States.

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Inventing Whiteness
Inventing Whiteness
The last station, Inventing Whiteness, considers "white" as a racial category. Stories and images from the past 200 years show how "whiteness" was protected, privileged, and made to seem normal over many years.

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African Origins
African Origins
Facing the map area, African Origins highlights current scientific understanding about human origins. This animated interactive illustrates how humans spread from Africa to populate the world.

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The Science of Skin
The Science of Skin
At the Science of Skin, visitors use a microscope to view their skin close-up and explore the evolutionary story of skin color variation. Here, they discover that race is not found in our skin.

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The Hapa Project
The Hapa Project
Artist Kip Fullbeck's "Hapa Project" explores the issue of racial categories through photographs and self-descriptions by people who identify themselves as multiracial.

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Row House
Row House
Here, visitors encounter a row house as a setting for stories about housing practices, land ownership, and wealth.

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Piles of cash
Piles of cash
Piles of cash concretely represent the vast wealth disparities between whites and other ethnoracial groups, while text and photos reveal the story of how those disparities come to be.

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Youth on Race
Youth on Race
A high school cafeteria provides the backdrop for the "Youth on Race" video. This video gives visitors a glimpse inside the world of one set of young people.

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Student Lockers
Student Lockers
Nearby, in the Student Lockers display, four students use their own words, pictures, and objects to express their relationship to race, identity, ethnicity, each other, and the world in which they live.

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Shifting Categories
Shifting Categories
A large photograph of college students tells the story of Shifting Categories. Each student wears a t-shirt imprinted with three Census years and the racial categories they would have been assigned in that year.

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Photographs by Wing Young Huie
Photographs by Wing Young Huie
Wing Young Huie's remarkable photographs are found throughout the exhibit. His work captures the diverse ethnic and socioeconomic communities of his home state and across the United States.
Rent this exhibit

Contact Bill Maloney at bmaloney@smm.org or (651) 221-4737 for more information.