In 2018, within a few months, two exhibitions opened at two different European science museums: Racism. The Invention of Human Races at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden in Germany and FOLK – From racial types to DNA sequences at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology in Oslo. Both exhibitions use representations of the history of race and racism in Europe to address present-day issues surrounding racist and discriminating attitudes in European society and to promote a diverse, more inclusive society. They appear to have some striking similarities, not only in regard to their choice of topic, but also in their visual presentation, choice of objects and the timeframe they present. Using these two exhibitions as case studies, I examine how museums engage with difficult pasts to address present-day issues. Using a perspective on museum displays as narrative, I analyze and compare how the two exhibitions structure their narratives and how this influences the way they respond to present-day issues. To make the different implications of different narrative structures visible, I have borrowed Hayden Whites perspective on the implications of historiographic narration and applied them to the exhibitions. Despite their obvious similarities, the two museums are different in their narrative structures. Racism. The Invention of Human Races focuses on a message of necessary fundamental change, while FOLK - from racial types to DNA-sequences provides a more subtle approach, offering a room to contemplate, rethink and elaborate on present-day society. While different in their approaches, both exhibitions are found to engage with difficult heritage to contextualize and historicize social issues of the present and to offer visitors ways to participate in creating a more inclusive society.