• Where do racist objects go?

    Sorting Race

    May 2017

  • Your local thrift store has it all – including America’s racist past.

  • That’s the purpose of a traveling exhibit from Kansas, currently in Renton.

    Photo by Gil Aegerter/KUOW
  • The exhibit came together when thrift store owners approached museum curators.

    They didn’t want to put these items on shelves. They didn’t want to throw them out, either.

    Photo by Gil Aegerter/KUOW
  • Some older visitors have looked at these objects and said, ‘That’s just the way it was.’

  • Museum curator Sarah Samson:

    “Watching them come to terms with the fact that their normal was bad, or had negative outcomes has been really interesting.”



  • “I’ve kind of watched people have aha moments, where they didn’t understand why something was racist, and now they do.”

    Photo by Gil Aegerter/KUOW
  • “Should these objects be sorted out of American life altogether, should they all go in the garbage?”

    Or is there value in showing really old thinking?

    Photo by Gil Aegerter/KUOW
  • Or maybe not so old.

    Some items are surprising, like everyday food items you can still find in today’s grocery store.

    Photo by Gil Aegerter/KUOW
  • The Sorting Out Race Exhibit runs until May 17 at the Renton History Museum.

    Reporting by Jamala Henderson

    Photos by Gil Aegerter