"Makes me want to cry because of the stupidity of people, how they take advantage of others, idiotic things," Tenten said. "I don't know if I can continue looking around - it's that powerful."
Tenten, who came from Fanwood with his friend Andrew Voceler, recalled an incident when he was 14 years old.
At the time, he was on a day trip with his uncle and aunt at Rockaway Beach, N.Y. His uncle decided to go home after seeing an African-American couple on the beach.
Tenten, who is of Italian, German, and French heritage, is one of many thousands of people who have visited the exhibit since its debut on Feb. 2. It is a traveling exhibition that started last year at the Museum of Minnesota and will be at the Jersey City center until April 27.
It is presented nationally by Best Buy Children's Foundation and made possible at Liberty Science Center through the generosity of the Sprint Foundation, Alcatel-Lucent, and Comcast.Exhibit on race
"Race - Are We So Different?" looks at the issue of race from three themes: the Science of Human Variation, the History of Race, and Race in Our Culture.
Race is a term used to describe separating people on the basis of various sets of characteristics and ancestry.
The exhibit is a multimedia endeavor with displays on all angles of race - from shattering the myth of sickle cell anemia afflicting only African-Americans, to a video on teenagers in a high school cafeteria discussing racial barriers.
Last Tuesday, in an interview at the Science Center, Dr. Emlyn Koster, president and CEO of LSC, discussed the importance of the exhibit.
"Here was the first opportunity to use the science museum as a vehicle for people to reflect on what are the science and the non-science, and the cultural and sociological aspects of race at a time when the issue is being discussed a lot more," Koster said. You could spend hours
Koster said the exhibit, which is located in a 6,000-square-foot area of the center's fourth floor, was created by the American Anthropological Association and is a rather engrossing project.
"You could spend days in there, definitely spend hours, as each part of the exhibit has tremendous depth," Koster said. "It'll make you think about your own life, make you think about society, and how we change our minds everyday about how we classify race."
A tour of the exhibit definitely bore out Koster's accolades.
The public can explore the common traits among different racial groups, such as blood type and height.
One display involves the controversial 18th century science of anthropometrics, or measuring skulls to determine their intelligence and other attributes among races.
Lakasha Street, the LSC guest operations coordinator and a Jersey City resident, said she has been moved emotionally every time she walks through this exhibit.
"This whole exhibition is not about a black and white issue," said Street. "This exhibition encompasses the whole idea of race and how it can affect your being."
Darnell Scott and Angie Smith, who came all the way from Belleville, were also moved by the exhibition.
Smith said she has always been interested about notions of race while growing up as the child of an Italian-Irish father and Korean mother.
"I am just really happy that somebody thought to put it together," Smith said. "This exhibit is putting a spotlight on something I struggle with everyday." Comments on this story can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sidebar Band 'U2' in a 3D adventure at LSC
Why listen to Bono in mono?
The public can enjoy a new concert documentary, "U2 3D," at the Liberty Science Center's Joseph D. Williams Science Theater inspecial evening screenings until April 27.
U2 3D is a 3D presentation of U2's 2007 global "Vertigo" tour at seven different concerts in South America. The digital 3D film shows the U2 gang of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. up close, going through their greatest hits.
In a recent review, The New York Post described the film as "a blizzard of sound and vision that sets an exciting new standard for the rock doc."
The film will be showing in the evening after the center is closed. The screening dates are as follows: Feb. 22, 23, and 29; March 6, 9, 16, 21, 22, 28, and 29; April 10, 12, 13, 18, 24, and 27.
Hours: Thursday and Sunday 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7:45 p.m.
Ticket prices: $13 adults, $10.50 children and seniors (parking is free)
Purchase tickets at the box office or call (201) 253-1310. (Phones are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.) - RK