Race: Are We So Different?

June 18, 2011 – January 8, 2012

National Museum of Natural History
10th St. & Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, Northeast Wing (Hall 23), Special Exhibit Gallery

See on map Floor Plan

This traveling exhibition looks at race and racism in the United States through biological, cultural, and historical points of view and reveals the profound effects of race and racism on everyone's life. It explores the history of the idea of race and how race is viewed today and discusses the role of science, particularly the findings of contemporary science that are overturning beliefs about race. Advances in genetics research show that while human variation does exist, the concept of race is not rooted in biology.

The exhibition is divided into the following sections:

  • Science traces early human migration from Africa using current research to re-evaluate widely held beliefs about the origins of physical attributes, such as skin color or resistance to disease.
  • History traces racism from the pre-Columbus era to modern genetic studies.
  • Lived Experience features voices and images of people who share their experiences of race, identity, and racism.

A set of four lockers decorated by students from Washington-area elementary, middle, and high schools were created to tell the story that race has played in the students' lives.

Interactive components and videos

Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota.