Nearly 30 years ago, when I began my museum career at the Field Museum of Natural History, we were grappling with the idea of what we called “multiculturalism,” and with the challenge of attracting audiences that reflected the diverse community in which we lived. It was a challenge that would require a profound organizational shift, and no one was more enthusiastic about this new commitment than I was. Continue reading “Lessons Learned From A Gentle Giant”
It was the summer of 1971, and I had just turned seven years old. My dad was an electrical engineer who specialized in industrial construction projects, and we would follow him to live wherever the jobs took us. For this project we had moved from Ohio to Georgetown, South Carolina. We actually lived at nearby Litchfield beach in a beach house – definitely fun, but pretty cold in the winter. Now my parents raised their children (two boys and one girl) to be color blind with regard to race, and for this I am eternally grateful to them. I don’t recall them ever saying a negative word about a person or group of people based on the color of their skin – or for any other reason. So imagine their challenges moving to the South in the middle of the Civil Rights movement. Continue reading “A White Boy at a Black School: Why I Was and Wasn’t Someone Different”
At the end of each summer, Denver Public Schools social studies teachers come together to talk about the beginning of the school year and share resources and ideas for engaging our district’s children in rigorous, meaningful learning. This year, my colleagues and I at Facing History and Ourselves, together with History Colorado, had the opportunity to speak to the 200 teachers from across the district about how we can use lessons and voices from history to start important dialogues about race with young people. Continue reading “RACE: Are We So Different? A Community Conversation”
How can all of us as Coloradans, together, make our state a better place to live?
It’s with an eye to that very question that we’re hosting the traveling exhibit RACE: Are We So Different? at the History Colorado Center from September 20 through January 4. RACE, developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, takes a thought-provoking look at race—and racism—in the United States through interactives, historic artifacts, compelling photographs and a wealth of media; and we at History Colorado are putting our state in the picture.