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Monday, August 17, 2009

Race:Are We So Different? at the Franklin Institute

This whole concept of race as it is expressed in the United States has been a confusing one for me and my brother. My first seven years were spent in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire which was a crossroads of Africa; everyone came through there as well as Asian and European people. There didn’t seem to be this urgent need to classified and separate people racially or ethnically.

I went to the International Community School of Abidjan. Its students represented more than 70 nationalities. When I first came to the United States and I went to a “neighborhood school” that was almost exclusively African-American, my first reaction was where were the people of color from other places-not where were the white children… Anyway , I say this to tell you about an exhibition at the Franklin Institute called Race: Are We So Different? There will be a special panel discussion about race in the United States this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Franklin Institute.

SPECIAL EVENT!Can Or Should America Be Color Blind?Wednesday, August 19, 20097:00PM - Franklin Theater. Participate in a talk with the former president of the American Anthropological Association, professor and biological anthropologist Dr. Alan Goodman, who played a key role in the development and design of The Franklin Institute's current traveling exhibition RACE. Goodman will take on the meanings of race at a time when we debate whether America can or should be color blind—from racial profiling to economic, education and health care disparities. His introductory talk will be followed by a lively panel discussion from noted academics and community activists including Asian community leader John Chin and criminal attorney Michael Coard. Admission to the event is free, advance registration is required. Please call 215.448.1254.

Visit the EXHIBIT WEBSITE for more information about the experience and other educational resources. Here's the link.

Here is more information from the Franklin Institute about the exhibition:

The exhibit encourages visitors of all ages to explore the science, history, and everyday impact of race and racism, and will be highlighted by special programming events that aim to more fully connect with the community. Free to all visitors with a Sci‐Pass admission to the museum, the RACE exhibit runs from now through September 7.

“Race and education remain the two central challenges facing Philadelphia. This exhibit allows us to educate on the topic of race—with the discussion grounded in the cutting‐edge science of our day,” said Dennis Wint, President & CEO of The Franklin Institute. “Race is not only an exhibit, it is a conversation. We are committed to building programming and activities around the exhibit that challenge diverse conversations about race in meaningful ways.”

RACE: Three perspectives on a wide‐reaching topic ‐‐From the scientific understanding that humankind cannot be divided into ‘races’ to how American history,economic interest and popular culture have played a role in shaping our understanding of race, RACE: Are We So Different creates a compelling opportunity to explore one of the most controversial topics in American culture today. The RACE exhibit addresses these topics through three interwoven sections that tell a moving story of science with deep and lasting social impact.

• Science: Visitors will discover that human beings are more alike than any other living species, and no one gene or set of genes can support the idea of race.
• History: Ideas about race have been around for hundreds of years, and they have changed over time. This section of RACE explores the origins of the term ‘race’ and the journey of racism in the United States.
• Everyday experience: Though race may not be a real biological concept, it certainly is real both socially and culturally. In this section of the exhibit, visitors will explore the personal experiences of race in our schools, neighborhoods, health care systems, sports and entertainment industries, and more.
The Franklin’s “Out of Africa” task force, an in‐house committee which is dedicated to creating dialogue about race through the museum, will be creating a series of special programming events around the exhibition, ranging from workshops to panel discussions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi sojo!!! i love your poem!!! your the best!!! keep on blogging!!