Seeing Race


Race. Do you know it when you see it? Can you say what you are seeing? What stories can you tell about race, and what do your stories tell about you? What do our stories tell about us?

Race. The original sin of our nation. Slavery. Discrimination. Segregation. Fear. Separation. Oppression. Our national motto, “E pluribus unum” — Latin for “Out of many, one” — proclaims an ideal: We are, or we should be, united despite our diversity, even because of our diversity. Our differences should make us strong, not divide us.

But race and racism have cut against the ideals of our nation since even before its founding. Seeing through the lens of race, we divide up the world into Us and Other. Race undercuts the aspirations for unity and equality that form the highest ideals of our nations.

But what does it mean to see race? Do you know what you are seeing when you see race? Can you tell what race is, and what does what you think you see, what does what you imagine and say, tell about you?

Mirror of Race encourages us to explore what we see though the use of the earliest of photographs. Visit the site and explore the exhibition here.