interview with donnie l. betts

History Colorado  Center’s exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?” shatters the idea that racial identity is born from genetic makeup. It focuses on the social construct of race as a tool that certain groups have used to build wealth on the backs of others.

An array of faces greet you at the History Colorado Center’s atrium. Curators are hoping residents will see themselves, in photographs from throughout Colorado’s history.  Local theatrical director and contributor to the Colorado exhibit donnie l. betts (lowercase intentional) gave “First Take with Lando and Chavis” a guided tour.

“It’s the landscape of Colorado… faces, all kind of faces, all kind of hues,” described betts, ”When you come into the exhibit, the first thing you see is public transportation, where we all can meet and be alike.”  The grand image is a modern day photograph taken on RTD’s Colfax bus, “The 15” route.

The exhibit, originally developed by the American Anthropological Association, has toured the Unite States since 2007, and on display at History Colorado through January 2015.  History Colorado is located at 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.

betts is coordinating the “FWD: Race” gatherings at History Colorado, designed as community conversations on the science, health, economics, culture and history of racial questions in the U.S.  On October 14, 2014, the topic is “What Does the Science Say?”

The radio tour discusses of census policies over the decades (along with its racial labels), and issues of education and race, including how students self-segregate racially.

Music on this feature is from Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Ache, “Child’s Wave” and Ernie Watts, “Soul Eyes” from the CD Unity.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets. 

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