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Race Exhibit

For the scholarly event, I attended the “Race Exhibit� at the Science Museum. I found this exhibit to be very interesting and educational. I thought it communicated the issue of race very effectively, using factual information and personal testimonies. There were also interactive demonstrations that allowed you to gather information about and create new understandings of race.

One display that I thought was pretty intriguing was the one that demonstrated how other physical qualities are not linked to race. I liked this part of the exhibit because it was very visual and I consider myself to be a pretty visual learner. There were pictures of people of different races and ages. You could press a button that represented either a certain blood type or fingerprint type and the picture of the person that had the given type would light up. The point was that there is no correlation. Aspects of the exhibit such as this really drove home the point that race is a mysterious thing.
When I was looking through one of the books full of visitor responses, I found one entry that I thought made a brilliant point. The entry was about the idea that white pride is much more uncomfortable to people that pride of different races. Blacks can have black pride, Hispanics can have Hispanic pride, Asians can have Asian pride, etc. and that is completely acceptable and encouraged. But once a white person has white pride, they becomes racist and of white supremacist attitude. This entry hit me as shockingly true. While any race has the right to be proud of who they are, it seems like no race but the Caucasian race has so many negative associations with pride.
Another part of this race exhibit that I found particularly interesting was a testimony in one of the videos. It was an interview of a man who was sharing a story from when he was just a boy, a memory that stuck with him. When he was a young boy, he was talking to his neighbor’s worker who was a black man. The man tells about how the neighbor came over and asked the boy why he was talking to this worker, and when the boy responded, he referred to the worker as “Mister …� and the woman said that this black worker was not a “Mister�. The black man remained silent, and that silence proved to the man sharing this story, who was just a little boy at the time, that it was acceptable to treat the worker in this way. Or for that matter, all black people in general just because they are black. It is powerful to think that such prejudice was and often still is installed in people’s minds so early on in life. Something to take from this story and from other displays in the exhibit is that black history has to do with more than just the black community, but with all of us. It affects each and every one of us in different ways. Whether you are the one that is discriminated against, the one making the discriminations, or the one shaking your head at discrimination, we all have a place when it comes to race in our society, and we are all affected whether we realize it or not. This idea really became clear to me because beforehand, I didn’t really think about why or how the issue of race was relevant in my life. In truth, it is all around us and we deal with it everyday.