The Smithsonian’s online project reflecting on what racism is

To spread knowledge and promote a constructive dialogue on racism and racial identity: this is the aim of the digital portal of the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Lonnie G. Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, stated that “the state of our democracy feels fragile and precarious”. Bunch, commenting on recent events in Minneapolis, added that “Once again, we struggle to make sense of the senseless. Once again, we bear witness to our country’s troubled history of racial violence”.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian museum, has chosen to offer a concrete contribution to the cause. In response to the current controversial situation, it launched the "Talking about Race" project, an online portal designed for educators, families and communities. Through the initiative, the museum wants to promote a reasoned and productive dialogue on racism and racial identity, by highlighting how these two concepts have contributed to shaping our society in the political, economic and cultural spheres.

“Talking about Race” addresses eight key issues and dedicates a specific section to each of these: “Being Antiracist”, “Bias”, “Community Building”, “Historical Foundations of Race”, “Race and Racial Identity”, “Self-Care”, “Social Identities and Systems of Oppression”, “Whiteness”.

“Silence keeps children from understanding and learning, so we must have these conversations throughout childhood” says Anna Hindley, the museum’s director of early childhood education. The team of educators has been working on the project for several years. Today the portal offers a large number of resources and multimedia content, tutorials, videos, articles and studies published by activists, researchers and historians, including Tim Wise, Audre Lorde and Julie Olsen Edwards. “Talking about Race” is a far-sighted initiative, designed to grow thanks to the valuable contribution of its users.

Talking about Race
National Museum of African American History and Culture

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